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Who is... Edouard Manet?

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`Monet Painting in His Floating Studio'
`Monet Painting in His Floating Studio'

Born on January 23, 1832 in Paris, Edouard Manet's mother Eugenie-Desiree Fournier was goddaughter of the crown prince of Sweden. His father, Auguste Manet, was a magistrate. Manet did not excel in academics - art interested him more. Manet's uncle, Charles Fournier, gave him his first lessons in painting. Between 1848 and 1849 Manet trained as a sea cadet but failed in the naval examination. In 1850 he went to study at the studio of Thomas Couture. He was there till 1856 and then went on a tour of Europe. Though influenced by masters like Velasquez and Goya, Manet believed art should reflect the ideals of the present. His first painting was The Absinthe Drinker (1858) and his Spanish Guitar Player was the first painting to be accepted by the Salon. Though Manet's Le Dejeuner sur L'herbe and Olympia created a storm of protest and had the radical artistes up in arms in defence of Manet, the artist himself held the Salon in high esteem and believed that an artist could only succeed with recognition from the salon.Manet was recognised as the leader of the Impressionists and he presided over the meetings at the Café Guerbois. Manet, however, did not exhibit with the Impressionists and though he did away with outlines believing `there are no lines in nature', he did not subscribe to the Impressionistic ideas of light and shade. He married his music teacher, Suzanne Leenhof on October 28, 1863 after a ten-year relationship. Suzanne was two years his senior. Léon Koëlla was Suzanne's son and Manet most probably was the father but the boy was presented as Suzanne's brother.Manet bridged the gap between Realism and Impressionism with his paintings of urban life seen with his unique vision. He died on April 30, 1883 after a prolonged illness. MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER

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