Edouard Manet

Who Was Edouard Manet?

Edouard Manet (1832-1883) was a French painter known for his depiction of everyday scenes of people and city life. Manet’s most famous works include “The Luncheon on the Grass” and “Olympia.” His works not only dispute traditional artistic norms but also played a significant role in shaping the Parisian art scene during the 19th century.

Edouard Manet
Photo: Artchive/Celeblifegrphy

Early Life

Painter Edouard Manet was born on January 23, 1832, in Paris. He was the son of Auguste Manet, a high-ranking judge, and Eugénie-Desirée Fournier, the daughter of a diplomat. The parents hoped their son would pursue a career in law or something similar. Manet declined because his goal was to produce art and studied under Thomas Couture. He took the opportunity to examine the European ancient masters’ works. After his failure on his part, his parents encouraged him to pursue his ambition of going to art school.

Early Career

Edouard Manet started studying under Thomas Couture when he was 18, picking up the fundamentals of painting and drawing. He spent hours at a time, replicating the previous masters’ creations. He visited Italy, Germany, and Holland between 1853 and 1856 to highly regarded painters, including Frans Hals, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco José de Goya.

Famous Paintings

After 6 years, Edouard Manet finally opened his own studio. His painting “The Absinthe Drinker” is a fine example of his early attempts at realism. He painted everyday people engaged in everyday tasks, like singers, street people, gipsies, and beggars. One of his standard works, “Concert in the Tuileries Gardens,” depicted a fashionable crowd in an outdoor setting.

In 1863, Manet completed and exhibited his most famous painting, “The Luncheon on the Grass.” The painting, depicting two young men sitting alongside a female nude, was considered scandalous and was initially rejected by the jury for the annual Paris Salon.

Wife And Sons

During this time, Manet married Suzanne Leenhoff, who had been his piano tutor. They had been involved for nearly 10 years and had an infant son named Leon Keoella Leenhoff. The boy posed for his father for the 1861 painting “Boy Carrying a Sword”. Suzanne served as the model for several paintings, including “The Reading.”


His mid-career saw him continue to challenge traditional artistic conventions and gain recognition as a groundbreaking artist. His painting “Olympia,” inspired by Titian’s “Venus of Urbino,” was another controversial work that garnered both criticism and admiration. Despite facing initial rejection, Manet’s influence on the art world grew, and he gained the support and friendship of other prominent artists, including Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet.

Throughout his career, Manet painted a variety of subjects, including cafe scenes. Some of Manet’s best-loved works including “At the Cafe,” “The Beer Drinkers” and “The Cafe Concert,” among others, depict 19th-century Paris. In 1870, he served as a soldier during the Franco-German War and His studio was partially destroyed during the siege, but to his delight, an art dealer named Paul Durand-Ruel bought everything from the wreckage for 50,000 francs.

Later Career

Manet received an invitation to participate in the inaugural impressionist artists’ exhibition in 1874. He believed that the traditional salon and its role in the art world ought to be upheld. The French government bestowed upon him the title of Légion d’honneur in 1881.


Edouard Manet died two years later in Paris, on April 30, 1883. He is buried in the Passy Cemetery in the city. By the time of his death, in 1883, he was a respected revolutionary artist.

Quick Review

  • Article Title: Edouard Manet Biography
  • Full Name: Edouard Manet
  • Birth Date: January 23, 1832
  • Birth Year: 1832
  • Birth City: Paris
  • Birth Country: France
  • Gender: Male
  • Known For: Edouard Manet was a leading artist in the transition from realism to impressionism.
  • Industries: Art
  • Nationalities: French
  • Children: Léon Leenhoff
  • Death Date: April 30, 1883
  • Death Year: 1883
  • Death City: Paris
  • Author: Celeblifegrphy.com Editors


  • There are no lines in nature, only areas of color, one against another.
  • Color is a matter of taste and of sensitivity.
  • One must be of one’s time and paint what one sees.
  • No one can be a painter unless he cares for painting above all else.