Part One

Like the career of Gustave Courbet, the career of Édouard Manet breaks into two segments. As with all aspiring artists, Manet had to make his mark, and he chose to call attention to himself through a series of paintings that combined homage with allegory. His works of the 1860s referred to revered art of the past but he updated the themes and applied old subject matter to new modern contexts.

It is with Édouard Manet that the concept of Modernism as a new form of urban culture is manifested in painting. A comparison between Manet and his predecessor (and contemporary Gustave Courbet) shows the shift in Naturalism from rural themes to urban life where a new kind of modernism was coming into being. Manet’s art was both public, life on the boulevards, and private, his friends and family and the woman he probably loved, the artist Berthe Morisot. This podcast traces Manet’s ironic and satiric play with art historical predecessors in his efforts to both succeed in the Salons and to capture the fleeting world of modernité.

If you have found this material useful, please give credit to Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed.
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