Powerful Essays

Much of the art of Manet reflects the developments going on in Paris in the 1860s and 1870s. The rebuilding of Paris was being supervised by Baron Haussman, as much of the old medieval centre of the city was being destroyed so that the new city could be rebuilt. In his book "The painting of modern life" TJ Clark argues that modern art of the 20th century evolves from the art produced by Manet during this period of great change in Paris. Manet's scenes of Parisian cafes, bars and streets reflected the new Paris. Manet's work influenced the impressionist painters, who were a strong influences on the painting of the 20th century, so in this sense Manet's painting is the first modern art that emerged from the creation of the new Paris which Manet depicted in many of his paintings. While Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe and Olympia were the most famous and most controversial works Manet produced, I do not feel they represent the view of the French writer Baudelaire who came up with the phrase 'modern life'. Instead I will be focusing more on Manet's last great masterpiece The Bar at the Folies-Bergere, a much better display of Paris life, as well as some of his other lesser known, smaller works. I will be discussing the relation of Manet's art, especially this painting of the Folies Bergere night club, to modern life in Paris at this time.

During the 1860s under the reign of Napoleon III in France, the city of Paris became one of the most modern in the world due to the extensive redesigning by Baron Georges Eugene Haussmann. Paris was full of bars, operas, cafes, cabarets and a centre of dance and western culture. Many of the slums and poor inner city areas were redesigned with wide open streets and modern buildings. While this mean...

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...the Nineteenth Century, Yale University Press, New Haven, USA

8) Hamilton, G. 1969, Manet and his critics, WW Norton & Co. Inc, New York, USA

9) Hanson, A. 1977, Manet and the Modern Tradition, Yale University Press, London, UK

10)Krell, A. 1996, Manet and the Painters of Contemporary Life, Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, UK

11)Lucie-Smith, E. 1971, A Concise History of French Painting, Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, UK

12)Pool, P. 1985, The Complete Paintings of Manet, Penguin Books, Orienti, S. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, USA.

13)Reff, T. 1982, Manet and Modern Paris, National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

14)Schneider, P. 1972, The World of Manet 1832-1883, Time Life International, USA

15)Walter, E. 1983, Manet 1832-1883, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

16)Wilenski, R. 1973, French Painting, Dover Publications Inc., New York, USA
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