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Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet

Edouard Manet PortraitManet was born in Paris in 1832 to an upper class family with strong political connections. Ignoring his parents’ desire to see him take on a ‘reputable’ career, the young Manet set about making painting his profession. Travelling through Europe in the 1950s, Manet learned much from the Old Masters such as Velázquez and Goya, yet he himself wished to capture scenes of contemporary living, to be ‘the artist of modern life’ as envisaged in the writings of philosopher and poet, Baudelaire.

Singers, absinthe drinkers, gypsies and beggars populated his canvasses, all rendered with a freedom of brushstroke which shocked the Academies. His stylistic innovations and chosen themes were much admired by the future Impressionists and though he never sought to be deliberately radical, he is today regarded as a forerunner of modern art. He died in 1883 aged 51.
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