Edouard Manet (French Painter)



2015-06-26 10:55:54

Edouard Manet was a French painter whose work heralded the birth of the Impressionist movement


Brief biography of artist

Edouard Manet (born 23rd January 1832) was a French painter.

His father, a government official, encouraged the young Manet to attend law school, but he refused. Instead, Manet attempted to join the Navy, but ultimately failed his examinations. It was after this that Manet pursued a career in art. Studying in Paris under another French painter, he subsequently visited the rest of Europe to study the paintings of the old masters.

Manet opened his own studio in 1856, and broke with tradition by choosing to paint contemporary events; street scenes, café scenes, beggars and bullfights. Manet is considered one of the true early ‘modern’ artists, and did not begin to gain widespread recognition until late in his life, at which time his portraiture was particularly sought after.

His work proved hugely influential upon the impressionist painters, but Manet himself refused to be thusly categorized, though he associated with several of impressionism’s luminaries socially. He died in Paris on 30th April 1883.

Guide for collectors

Manet’s groundbreaking aesthetic and influence upon other artists has made his work highly collectable, and Manet’s paintings have frequently sold for very high prices at auction. Whilst many of his best known works are housed at galleries and therefore unavailable for private ownership, there are instances of sales of the artists’ works at auction, which demonstrate the desirability and average sale-price of an original Manet.

Manet’s ‘Les Courses Au Bois De Boulogne’, painted in 1832-1833, sold for $26,328,000 on 5th May 2004 at Sotheby’s auction house in New York, whilst Manet’s 1880 painting ‘Jeune Fille Dans Un Jardin’ sold for $20,905,750 at the same auction house on 9th November 2000. The artist’s ‘L’Abre En Boule’, an oil on canvas piece painted in 1876, sold for £2,248,000 from Sotheby’s on 9th June 2006, far surpassing its original £1,500,000 auction estimate.

Most expensive work

Manet’s rare 1878 self-portrait, ‘Self Portrait with a Palette’, was sold at Sotheby’s auction house in London for £22,441,250 on 22nd June 2010. One of only two self-portraits by Manet, the painting set a new record for the artist, whose most expensive artwork had previously been ‘La rue Mosnier aux drapeaux’, an 1878 street scene which sold at Christie's auction house in 1989 for £17.8million.

Most famous works

Manet’s painting Dejeuner sur l’herbe, or ‘Luncheon on the Grass’ is arguably his most famous, as well as one of his most controversial. Depicting a naked female at a picnic beside two fully clothed male figures, the painting caused great controversy when first exhibited in 1863 at the Salon des Refuses, met as it was with criticism from the establishment and rousing an enthused response from Manet’s contemporaries.

The piece is currently on display at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Other well known works include The Absinthe Drinker (1858), which is housed at the Ny Carlsberg Glypotek in Copenhagen, Olympia (1863), in residence at Musée d'Orsay in Paris, and Le Bar des Folies- Bergère (1882), currently on display at the Courtauld Institute & Galleries in London.

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