Edouard Manet

(1832 - 1883)
Edouard Manet Les Gitanos (The Gypsies) 1862

Biography

Manet was born into an affluent Parisian family, and was encouraged by his uncle to pursue a career in the arts. Manet received initial training from the history painter Thomas Couture, but quickly became dissatisfied with conventional painting. He was attracted to modern subjects; scenes of the café, boulevard, and racetrack, and both the lofty and poor souls who inhabited Paris. He painted these scenes on large canvases, celebrating modern life on a heroic scale. Many of Manet’s works caused shock and controversy, most notably his famous nude ‘Olympia’. His politically charged painting and prints also drew censorship from authorities. Only later in his life did Manet receive recognition for his artistic contribution, and is regarded by some as the father of Impressionism.