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Sample Essay on Édouard Manet

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Sample Essay on Édouard Manet

The artist has received spontaneous responses regarding his aspirations and goals. These responses highlight the author’s modernity above his enthusiasm to improve previous fields of painting by introducing new content or modifying conventional elements. Manet does these improvements with precise sensitivity to historical culture and modern reality, forming the basis of diverse scandals he aggravated (The Art Story, 3). Manet is appreciated for popularizing the alla prima  technique in painting. Instead of concentrating on colors in layers, the artist immediately lays down the color that strongly matches the ultimate effect he desires. This approach was widely applied by the impressionists  who realized that it perfectly suited the pressures they experienced in capturing light and atmospheric effects in the midst of painting outdoors. Manet is also renowned for his loose management of paint and the graphic depiction of volumes that resulted to features of flatness in his pictures. In the postmodern age, the flatness depicts the deception of painting as a contradiction of realism. Therefore, Manet is popular for coming up with flatness in modern art.

            Manet faced numerous controversies due to his disregard in incorporating perspective and application of unnatural sources of light in his pictures. This is mainly depicted in his Le Dejuener Sur l’Herbe (1863) photo that shocked the bourgeois patrons and the emperor himself (Zola, 556). An unromantic zed female nude engaging two fashionable dressed men is the focus of the picture, which resulted to public outrage. Manet applies the gaze of the woman in the picture to tackle the audience at a sexual echelon thereby challenging their principled and artistic boundaries. Other than numerous controversies in the picture, the composition is seen as an influence of artist Raphael.

            Although a realist artist, Manet progressed from his real life situations to create historical and religious artworks. Among these paintings are those of the suffering Christ that were displayed in his salon and in various museums. The body of Christ resembled a dead coal miner’s body instead of ethereal and spiritual person Christ was perceived to be. This among other errors in his works resulted to more attacks as they lacked spirituality and realistic tones. At the beginning, the artworks were strange and less accurate in appearance. With the unique style, he managed to excite and fascinate his audience through an entirely new light. Contrary to his uniqueness and originality, Manet’s odd choice bewildered his audience as he included nude and barely dressed women in his works. His previous works on bullfight received much criticism, as it was perceived as a critic on perspective that was highly valued in artwork. Lack of perspective was viewed as less attractive and lack of decorum. Just like his previous works on religion, his later work on Olympia received much criticism due to the theme and presentation of the work. The nude images, like his other works was perceived as less decent and perceptive to the audience (The Conditions of Art, 516).

            Instead of concentrating on impressionism as a style like his influencers, Manet’s criticism and support proved that he was not interested in becoming involved with exhibitions in his era. He was more interested in displaying his artwork in the salon instead to avoid notions that he was more of a representative of the impressionist style. In most of his works, Manet preferred to use lighter colors with a hint of black, which was unlike the artist’s desires in his period. All these criticisms and support proved that Manet was a bold and influential artist who introduced modern artwork.

Works Cited

The Art Story. Manet Edouard. 2016


The Conditions of Art. Manet’s Olympia Reading: Modernity and Bourgeois Life. 2016: 514-519

Zola, Emily. Effects and IMpreesions: Temperaments and Techniques. 216 554-564

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