Painter of the Week: Manet. Today: The Tragic Actor. 1866. National Gallery of Art

Painter of the Week: Édouard Manet. Today: The Tragic Actor (Rouvière as Hamlet). Date 1866. National Gallery of Art

Painter of the Week: Édouard Manet. Today: The Tragic Actor (Rouvière as Hamlet). Date 1866. National Gallery of Art

Édouard Manet. Portrait by Nadar, 1874

Édouard Manet (23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French painter. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art.

Video: Manet – Private life of a Masterpiece (BBC Documentary)

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