Edouard Manet

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French artist (1832-1883).

Edouard Manet was born in Paris, France on January 23, 1832. His mother, Eugenie-Desiree Fournier was the goddaughter of a Swedish prince, and his father, Auguste Manet, was a French judge. He wanted Edouard to pursue a career in law, too. Edouard wanted a career in painting. His uncle, Charles Fournier, encouraged Edouard to be a painter and to pursue painting seriously.

Edouard Manet, in imitation of the current style Realism, initiated by Gustave Courbet, painted many every-day subjects like beggars, cafes, bullfights, and other events and scenery. He produced very few religious, mythological, or historical paintings.

He married Suzanne Leenhoff before he served in the Franco-Prussian war from 1870-71. His friend, Emile Zola printed Manet's paintings in his newspaper called Figaro. Edouard became friends with Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, August Renoir, Alfred Sisly, Paul Cézanne, and Camille Pissaro in part through his sister-in-law Berthe Morisot, who was a core member of the Impressionist group. However, Manet refused to enter any of the impressionist exhibitions because he didn't think of his paintings as impressionist paintings and because he did not approve of their oppposition to the official salon system.

However, he was influenced by the Impressionists, especially by Morisot. Manet was influenced to use lighter colors and paint areas of light and dark. He painted many plein aire studies - paintings created outdoors - but always returned to what he considered serious work in the studio.

One of Manet's most famous paintings is Le dejeuner sur l'herbe ("Luncheon on the grass"). The Salon refused to exhibit it in 1863 because it featured dressed men and a nude woman. He exhibited it at the Salon de Refuses ("Exhibition of Refused Works") later in the year.

Manet died in Paris on April 30, 1883.