01 June 2011

Marvellous Manet

    The major exhibition in Paris this year is the Manet retrospective at the Musee d'Orsay.
On what was a cooler Tuesday, we decided to join the queues and feed our souls - and what a visual feast it was !

   Here is just a taste for you from Paris with love  ...

                                                 Le dejeuner sur l'herbe   (  The Luncheon on the Grass )

Edouard Manet was one of the first artists to approach modern life as a subject. The above painting caused many of the young painters of the day to rally and create what would become the Impressionist movement.
 Manet was a pivotal figure in this transition from Realism to Impressionism.

                                                                                  Portrait of d'Irma Brunner

                       La Dame aux eventails  - portrait of Nina de Callias, who was a French writer and poet.

              Vase de pivoines sur piedouche  - we are also loving our vase of peonies in our apartment !

        Edouart Manet's fabulous portrait of his friend and constant supporter, the writer, Emile Zola.

         The very famous  Fifer  - even more charming in "the flesh". Manet painted this after a trip to Spain in 1865 where he was influenced by the work of Velasquez. First rejected by the jury for the Paris Salon, it was then accepted the following year.

 Olympia - this wonderful painting first caused an uproar as it was considered immoral and vulgar,  not because of the nudity, interestingly. It was the subject's confrontational gaze, her jewellery and the orchid in her hair that caused an outcry at the time.
In this work, Manet was inspired by Titian's Venus of Urbino.
The masterpiece was purchased by the nation of France with a public subscription organised by Claude Monet.

                                Dr Clemenceaux - was a radical politician and then Prime Minister of France.

                                       The Street Singer - Manet used his favourite model for this large painting -    note her bulky guitar and the bag of cherries.

                            This shows Manet's friend, the opera singer Emilie Ambre in her role as Carmen .

                                   Manet painted this lovely portrait of his close friend, the artist Berthe Morisot.

                                                                      Detail of the Berthe Morisot portrait ...

Manet's self portrait sold at Sotheby's last year to a New York collector for the trifling sum of 20 million euros - I wonder what these early artists would make of this, especially those who suffered so much.

This portrait of Manet was painted by his friend, the painter Henri Fantin - Latour who is known for his superb flower paintings ( which I also love ... )

Bouton de Rose - a letter and water colour Manet sent from a hospital stay in 1880 ( I loved it, of course !)

PS    As photos are now forbidden in the Musee d'Orsay ( a very good idea ), I have used pictures from post cards and the catalogue to show you a little of this most comprehensive exhibition.
We are so fortunate to be here ...

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