Édouard Manet [1832 – 1883]

Self-Portrait with Palette
French modernist painter

Édouard Manet

was born,

January 23, 1832

in Paris, France

He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

Édouard Manet showed promise in drawing and caricature from an early age. After twice being denied admission to France’s prestigious Naval College, he enrolled in 1850 at the studio of academic artist Thomas Couture. While copying paintings at the Louvre, Manet became attracted to the bold brushwork of Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. He soon adopted a free manner of painting that opposed the polished surfaces revered by academic artists. Rather than gradually building up a composition with layers of blended pigments and translucent glazes, Manet selected and applied patches of color side by side, from the start, for their final effect.

He broke new ground by defying traditional techniques of representation and by choosing subjects from the events and circumstances of his own time. Laying down intense contrasts of light and dark, creating brazenly unmodulated paint surfaces, and asserting the primacy of flattened pattern and color. For this Manet attracted unrelenting hostility and scorn.

Manet’s work is considered “early modern”, partially because of the opaque flatness of his surfaces, the frequent sketchlike passages, and the black outlining of figures, all of which draw attention to the surface of the picture plane and the material quality of paint. Posthumously he would be recognized as a father of modern art.

His known extant works, as catalogued in 1975 by Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein, comprise 430 oil paintings, 89 pastels, and more than 400 works on paper.

So here’s a glimpse of his work & words
In the Conservatory
At the café, Sammlung Oskar Reinhart ‘Am Römerholz’

“I am influenced by everbody. But every time I put my hands in my pockets I find someone else’s fingers there”

The Rue Mosnier with Flags
The Tragic Actor (Rouvière as Hamlet)
Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets
The Reading

“One does not paint a landscape, a seascape, a figure. One paints an impression of an hour of the day.”

Bunch of Asparagus

“One must be of one’s time and paint what one sees.”

House in Rueil
Portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé

“Color is a matter of taste and of sensitivity.”

Chez le père Lathuille
The Plum
Breakfast in the Studio (the Black Jacket)

“Every time I paint, I throw myself into the water in order to learn how to swim.”

The Old Musician

“There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.”

The Luncheon on the Grass

Woman with Parrot
The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil
Garden Path in Rueil
The bar

“The attacks of which I have been the object have broken the spring of life in me… People don’t realize what it feels like to be constantly insulted.”

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

“There is only one true thing: instantly paint what you see. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you haven’t, you begin again. All the rest is humbug.”

Flowers in a Crystal Vase
Woman with a Cat

“No one can be a painter unless he cares for painting above all else.”

Still Life with Melon and Peaches

“You would hardly believe how difficult it is to place a figure alone on a canvas, and to concentrate all the interest on this single and universal figure and still keep it living and real.”

The Battle of the Kearsarge and the Alabama

“It is not enough to know your craft – you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more.”

The Guitar Player
Young Flautist
The Execution of Emperor Maximilian
The Execution of Emperor Maximilian

“Insults are pouring down on me as thick as hail.”

The Railway

“Black is not a color.”

The Races at Longchamp
The Philosopher, (Beggar with Oysters)
The surprised nymph

“If I’m lucky, when I paint, first my patrons leave the room, then my dealers, and if I’m really lucky I leave too.”

The Dead Christ with Angels
The Ragpicker
Dead Matador

“There’s no symmetry in nature. One eye is never exactly the same as the other. There’s always a difference. We all have a more or less crooked nose and an irregular mouth.”

Still Life, Lilac Bouquet
The Absinthe Drinker
The Cafe Concert

“I need to work to feel well.”

Madame Manet
Boy Carrying a Sword
Music in the Tuileries

“Above all, keep your colors fresh!.”

The Balcony
Portrait of Émile Zola
Carnations and Clematis in a Crystal Vase

“The principal person in a picture is light..”


Italian composer

known as the “father of the pianoforte”

Muzio Clementi [1752 – 1832]

was also born on this day,

January 23, 1752

so I’ve added 3 Sonatas by him

all performed by

Vladimir Horowitz

Piano Sonata in F minor Op. 14 No. 3

Recorded 1954

I. Allegro agitato 00:00 • II. Largo e sostenuto 04:14 • III. Presto 09:16

Piano Sonata Op.33 No. 1

Recorded 1949 [live]

I. Allegro 0:00 • II. Presto 6:10

Piano Sonata in F-sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 5

Recorded 1955

I. Allegro con espressione 00:00 • II. Lento e patetico 03:52 • III. Presto 07:40

For more information on Manet:









Be Safe

38 replies »

  1. Loved this the first time, more the second time.
    Manet is brilliant!
    Thank you, dahling!
    Listening to the first piano piece. Ministry is finished!

    • Clementi after Ministry! …why not!
      Reminds me of my piano studying years. Lots of Clementi sonatas.
      Manet is a truly brilliant artist. Happy you enjoyed …again!
      Sending hugs and love your way
      okay Hera… from you too!!!!!

  2. Thank you for another enjoyable art lesson! I could study the facial expressions for hours. This quote reminds me of Virginia Woolf: “One does not paint a landscape, a seascape, a figure. One paints an impression of an hour of the day.”

  3. Adore Manet’s art. He is definitely one of my faves, top 10!
    His style is brief, and exact, romantic and practical. Also, I believe he did not need glasses. LOVE!
    The music is perfect. I’m listening to the last video, and I’ve loved every minute of all 3.
    When it is over, i will post this comment.


    Off topic – have you done Toulouse – Lautrec?

    • “Brief and exact, romantic…” is just perfect description. One of my faves too.
      So glad you enjoyed Clementi too. Reminds me of my piano lessons! 😉
      No, I haven’t yet and now that I checked it looks like I missed his birthday (November 24) so I’ll be doing it this year. (I also missed Matisse December 31st!… what a day to be born! 😉)

  4. The lives of Manet and his contemporaries are fascinating. Not only did they complicate them themselves with their unconventional lifestyles; their art was scorned by the establishment (crown & salon) as you aptly show here with your quotes. Their exhibitions were mocked early on, and they constantly sought patrons although Manet himself supported many. My favorites in your collection here are “The House at Rueil,” The Dead Christ with Angels,” and “The Ragpicker.” Thank you, again. These museum ‘tours’ are wonderful. You are my favorite and constant docent!

  5. 🤍 the “candid” quality of ‘At the café’ with the lady’s expression as if she has just turned her head and noticed the artist capturing the scene.

    Happy Sunday, Marina


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