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Picture Gallery


Manet was born in Paris on 23 January, 1832, the eldest son of a high official in the French Ministry. In 1848 he failed the entrance exam to naval college. He subsequently went to sea with the merchant marines to avoid studying law, as his father wished. He became a painter against his father's advice, joining the studio of the respected academic painter Thomas Couture in 1850. Though he remained with Couture for six years, Manet gained his real knowledge of art during visits to Italy in 1853 and 1857, and to Germany and Holland in 1856.



Those trips exposed Manet to the same masters who had so profoundly interpreted realism in the past: Hals, Velazquez and Goya. Highly independent, and extraordinarily original in both his unconventional portrayals of modern life and his spontaneous brushwork, he struggled for academic acceptance throughout his life. Although Manet was rebellious in his subject matter, he craved official recognition, and this may be why he never 'compromised' himself by exhibiting at any of the Impressionist exhibitions. He claimed that he had 'no intention of overthrowing old methods of painting, or creating new ones'.













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