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Art History: Celebrating Impressionist Édouard Manet

by Tracey A. Maine on January 23, 2020

Famed Impressionist painter Édouard Manet was born in Paris in 1832 into a wealthy family headed by his father who was an official in the French Ministry of Justice. 

As a child, Manet had aspirations of becoming a naval officer.  However, after failing France’s prestigious Naval Academy’s entrance exam twice he then turned his attentions to sketching and drawing caricatures. 

Then, in 1850 he enrolled at the studio of celebrated historical and portrait painter Thomas Couture (1815-1879). Inspired by the brushwork of Spanish painter Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), Manet soon developed his own style of painting that involved selecting and applying patches of color side by side that combined elements of both Realism and Naturalism.

Manet became a working artist in 1856. His choice of subject matter included street scenes, bar life, and sarcastic portraits of famous art icons that offended many of the influential art critics of the day.

His first experience with notoriety came with the unveiling of his painting Olympia at the Paris Salon in 1865. The painting depicted a naked courtesan being presented with a bouquet of flowers by her maid.  Although Manet’s creation was deemed shocking, the attention this painting drew elevated the artist to icon status among the avant garde set.

Some of Manet’s most famous painting included Music in the Tuileries (1862), Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863), The Fifer (1866) and A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882).

Unlike other Impressionist painters, Manet refused to have his work exhibited with his contemporaries and continued to create his vivid depictions of everyday urban life in Paris until his passing in 1883. 

Following his death, Manet was recognized for his monumental contributions to Impressionsim and was given the title the “father of modern art.”  

For more information on Manet and his art review the following video:  

Where can I learn more about art and art history?

Anyone interested in art and art history should consider enrolling in Hocking College’s Art & Design program. In only two years students can graduate with their Associate of Applied Business in Art & Design degree.

Advantages of getting a degree in art and design

One of the many advantages of getting this degree is the wide range of career options degree holders will have to choose from. The following are a few of the job titles graduates of Hocking College’s Art & Design program will be qualified to pursue:

  • Fine Artist
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Ceramicist
  • Commercial Designer
  • Gallery Associate
  • Glassblower
  • Museum Curator
  • Photographer
  • Graphic Designer

To find out more information about Hocking College’s Art & Design program contact Program Manager Whitney Goller by email at gollerw@hocking.edu or by phone at (740) 753-6425.

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