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Happy Birthday… Édouard Manet

January 23, 2011

This is the first article of a series I am working on about all those artists who influenced me in a special way or whose art I just love. I will publish the articles on the artists’s birthdays as a tribute to what they created.

Édouard Manet was born on january the 23rd in Paris/France. You can find detailed information about him and his life and work on Wikipdia and of course in several books.

I cannot remember when or where I saw one of Manet’s paintings for the first time, maybe it was the Portrait Eva Gonzalès in the National Gallery in London several years ago.

Portrait Eva Gonzalès by Édouard Manet

I always was – and still am – fascinated by the way he brought this special vibrancy into his paintings by creating texturized surfaces by slightly adding colors.

My favourites are Le Bon Bock because of the intensity, created by the extreme shadows and contrasts and Le Buveur d’Absinthe, which was declined by the jury as Manet submitted it to be shown in the famous Salon de Paris 1859. I just love it. The wonderful colors, the subtle contrasts of complementary colors (reddish brown vs. blue-ish in the shadows) and the subject itself, the Parisian ragman Colardet.

Le Bon Bock by Édouard Manet
Le Buveur d'Absinthe by Édouard Manet

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