Paintings by Edouard Manet


Edouard Manet (1832-83) was a crucial figure in the rise of the Impressionist movement. In 1863 Manet -- who had already received favorable critical notice -- entered work in the Salon des Refusés, but his painting Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe drew a savage response from the critics. Going against contemporary ideas of art, Manet brought the modernist point of view into direct conflict with conventional standards, and his intentions were misunderstood.

Edouard Manet's resistance to the critical onslaught attracted the attention of younger artists. Three of the artists, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Frédéric Bazille, had met in 1861, and two others, Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro, both veterans of the Salon de Refusés and advocates of painting outdoors, also joined in the conversation. As a group, they exchanged ideas and debated issues. Edouard Manet welcomed the opinions and the support of this informal circle, and he introduced his friends to other aspiring painters. Eventually this group became known as the Impressionists.

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Click on the links below to learn about some of Edouard Manet's most famous Impressionist paintings.

  • Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe: Edouard Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe was roundly attacked by critics upon its showing in 1863. Learn about Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe, which helped launch the Impressionist movement.
  • Le Repose (Portrait of Berthe Morisot): Le Repose by Edouard Manet is a portrait of fellow Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot. Learn about Le Repose (Portrait of Berthe Morisot).
  • The Monet Family in their Garden at Argenteuil: Edouard Manet was close friends with Claude Monet, and used the artist's family as the subject of this painting. Learn about The Monet Family in their Garden at Argentuil, which Manet painted in 1874.
  • Music in the Tuileries Garden: Music in the Tuileries Garden by Edouard Manet demonstrates Manet's interest in middle-class life. Read about Music in the Tuileries Garden, which includes a portrait of the poet Charles-Pierre Baudelaire.
  • A Bar at the Folies Bergere: Edouard Manet's A Bar at the Folies Bergere is noted for its psychological complexity. Learn about A Bar at the Folies Bergere, one of Manet's undisputed masterpieces.

On the next page, see a detailed image of Edouard Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe.For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe by Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe                              (oil on canvas, 81-7/8x104-1/8 inches)                                            resides in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
Edouard Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe (oil on canvas, 81-7/8x104-1/8 inches) resides in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

Shown at the Salon des Refusés, Edouard Manet's 1863 painting Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe of two contemporary men having a picnic in the Tuileries Garden with two disrobed women was ridiculed by the critics. His work -- intended to provide a modern counterpart to the pastorals painted by the Venetian masters -- was thoroughly misunderstood. Manet's dark palette and rough brushwork in Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe prompted critics to call the work unfinished, and the direct gaze of the woman seated in the front transgressed the conventions for painting the nude.

The critical attacks on his work pushed Edoaurd Manet into exploring a new aesthetic. Next we'll see a painting in which this style develops further.

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For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

Le Repose (Portrait of Berthe Morisot) by Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet's Le Repose (Portrait of Berthe Morisot) (oil on canvas, 57-7/8x43-3/4 inches) is exhibited at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.­
Edouard Manet's Le Repose (Portrait of Berthe Morisot) (oil on canvas, 57-7/8x43-3/4 inches) is exhibited at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.­

Edouard Manet's 1870 painting Le Repose is a portrait of Berthe Morisot. Berthe Morisot was introduced by Edouard Manet into the circle of artists who would become the Impressionists. She was briefly Manet's student, and she married his brother Eugène. Unlike many of her colleagues, her works were regularly seen at the Salon, but she took part in all the Impressionist exhibitions except the fourth in 1879.

On the next page we'll see how Edouard Manet's friendship with Claude Monet directly affected his art.

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For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

The Monet Family in their Garden at Argentuil by Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet's The Monet Family in their Garden                              at Argentuil (oil on canvas, 24x39-1/4 inches)                                            hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Edouard Manet's The Monet Family in their Garden at Argentuil (oil on canvas, 24x39-1/4 inches) hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Edouard Manet painted The Monet Family in their Garden at Argentuil in 1874. In this painting Edouard Manet exhibits some of the techniques that made the Impressionists well-known.

Although Edouard Manet never accepted the invitation to exhibit with the Impressionists, he remained sympathetic to their desire to provide an alternative venue for contemporary art. Manet was also increasingly influenced by aspects of their stylistic innovations. In painting outdoors, as in The Monet Family in their Garden at Argentuil, a portrait of Claude Monet, Manet used a lighter, fresher palette and broken brush strokes that suggest a natural -- rather than a composed -- impression.

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For another example of how the Impressionists influenced Edouard Manet, go on to the next page.

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

Music in the Tuileries Garden by Edouard Manet

Music in the Tuileries Garden by Edouard Manet                              (oil on canvas, 30x46-1/2 inches) is housed in the                                            National Gallery of London.
Music in the Tuileries Garden by Edouard Manet (oil on canvas, 30x46-1/2 inches) is housed in the National Gallery of London.

Music in the Tuileries Garden by Edouard Manet was painted in 1862. Manet's chosen subject was the middle-class population of Paris. This painting of a fashionable crowd gathered in a public park to listen to a concert contains many portraits, including one of poet Charles-Pierre Baudelaire and several members of Edouard Manet's family. The loose brush stroke and quickly executed masses of color in Music in the Tuileries Garden suggest the spontaneous energy of the moment.

Manet continued to be fascinated with the middle-class throughout his career. On the next page we'll see another example of this.

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For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

A Bar at the Folies Bergere by Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet's A Bar at the Folies Bergere                              (oil on canvas, 37-3/4x51-1/4 inches)                                            is shown at the Courtald Institute Gallery in London.
Edouard Manet's A Bar at the Folies Bergere (oil on canvas, 37-3/4x51-1/4 inches) is shown at the Courtald Institute Gallery in London.

Edouard Manet's 1882 painting A Bar at the Folies Bergere, of a barmaid in a cabaret, intrigues the viewer with its spatial and psychological complexity. The mirror behind her transforms the shallow space in which she stands into a view of the entire room, where a lively and sophisticated crowd is enjoying the aerial act high above their heads. The barmaid appears lost in thought, but in the reflection, she is seen attending to a customer. To the end of his career Edouard Manet sought to portray the spirit of modern life.

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American paintings. She is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.