Edouard Manet (1832-1883)

Edouard Manet is included amongst the painters known as realists; yet, he played a role in in the rise of Impressionism. Manet pursued his own artistic vision without identifying himself as an Impressionist. His work bridged a gap between Realism and Impressionism.

  • 1832 - 45 Edouard Manet was born into an upper-middle-class family in Paris. Manet often visited the Louvre museum and began taking drawing courses.
  • 1861 - 69 Manet showed his artwork at the Salon and was accepted and acclaimed. he then began showing nude paintings and his reputation was changed to "avant-garde."
  • 1846 - 60 Manet visited museums in Western Europe and copied masterworks. He studied under another painter for several years and then opened his own studio
  • 1870 - 83 Encouraged by his friend Berthe Morisot, Manet began painting outdoor scenes of Paris. He began adopting Impressionist techniques. He fell ill and died at age fifty-one.

Manet is known for several paintings of café scenes which capture the feel of 19th-century Parisian social life. They give the viewer a look into the bohemian night life - workers rub elbows with the middle class, drinking, listening to music, chatting.

"Color is a matter of taste and of sensitivity."

- Édouard Manet

"Every new painting is like throwing myself into the water without knowing how to swim."

- Édouard Manet

Manet took the time to capture some of the most famous painters in the Impressionist movement, including Claude Monet and Berthe Morisot.


Manet's still life and flower paintings showcase his innovative approach and mastery of color and light. The vibrant expressive works capture then transient beauty of their subjects through loose brushstrokes and contrasting hues. They explored themes of beauty, decay, and the passage of time, reflecting the fleeting nature of life and Manet's own outlook on mortality.


Among Manet's closest friends were the poet Charles Baudelaire, the painter Edgar Degas, the playwright Émile Zola, and the composer Emmanuel Chabrier. Manet's wife, Suzanne Leenhoff, was also a significant influence on his life and art, as she served as his model and muse for several paintings. He also befriended Manet and Renoir.

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

-Édouard Manet