Old Pastel Master: Edouard Manet

Pastel Art by Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet (1832-1883)

Some of Edouard’s Manet well known oil paintings are ”Déjeuner sur l’herbe”, at that time considered scandalous, and Olympia (painted 1863), the most shocking work in 1865 presented in Salon. Less known is the fact Manet has used pastel medium in last 3 years of his life when he was forced by paralysis to take to a wheel chair.

Pastel Portrait of Irma Brunner is one of a numerous painted by Manet at that time. He found the pastel medium easier for him to manage than oil, and as result his large oil paintings at this time were few.
Manet not only used pastel medium as it was more convenient, but also because it permitted him to experiment with his theories in the rendering of light and shade to obtain a general effect of luminosity. He did not, as did Degas, depend so much on the individual strokes of the pastels, but sought rather for broader masses of juxtaposed color to produce his effect. The great majority of Manet’s pastels portray beautiful women, women from all stations of society. These delightful portraits of women deservedly rank with the finest work that Manet produced and reveal the immense variety of the artist.
Although Manet was a friend with several French Impressionists and shared some of their ideas and techniques, he has formally never become their member nor did he exhibit with them.

Interesting short films about Manet you can watch on the clip.
More information about Manet at Wiki, Metropolitan Museum of the Art, Musee d’Orsay.

Amazon Source for Manet

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