By Darla McCammon
We’ve been covering spring, especially by a group of artists called the impressionists. Edouard Manet is thought to have been the main proponent of the techniques of this often beleaguered and criticized group of artists. He visited Monet in Argenteuil in the Paris suburb of Ile-de-France with his friend Renoir. All three are credited with focusing their art on modern life at that time. They came under fire for painting controversial subject matter, supposedly lacking the techniques of the realists, and were blamed for poor perspective.
These are only a few of the artistic coals that were heaped on their heads as they tried to enter work such as this painting of “Le Printemps” (Spring) to The Salon. Their work, however, has survived exceptionally well. This particular painting by Manet was made in 1881 and today is held in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It is a prime example of impressionism.
Manet was born in Paris in 1832. He grew up disappointing his parents with his career choice, but he was stubborn and eventually won their support for art school and studies of the masters. He often copied work in the Louvre for practice. He died young at only 51 but by then he had developed a following and was considered a successful artist, in spite of his impressionism.
He, like the other impressionists, made a stab at realism, but eventually moved to looser, often softer, depictions. Many of his famous pieces were done completely out in the fresh air. At first his work was considered unfinished, but as time passed it became recognized for what it was — an “impression” of what was immediately in front of the artist. This focus on the common man, or woman, was not lost on observers who began to develop a love for both his subject matter and his style.
Napoleon himself recognized this talent and established a separate exhibition called “The Salon des Refusés,” which included Manet’s work along with that of his contemporaries. One work called “Olympia” was considered scandalous and made him a hero to his fellow impressionists. It was refused entrance to the salon but 42 years later we find it proudly installed in the Louvre. Artists, take heart.
Upcoming and Current Events
If you would like to exhibit at the Warsaw City Hall art gallery or submit an event, contact Darla at [email protected] or at (574) 527-4044.
- The Dean Jansen photography exhibit will be on display at Warsaw City Hall through May 31.
- The Wagon Wheel Salon is featuring Al Disbro’s “Our Town” photography exhibit. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily now through April 29. There is no charge for admission except during show performances.
- The Gallery at Rua will have the RedBird Studio art exhibit on display through May 19. Cardinal Services has work on display under mentor Timothy Young.
- The Lakeland Art Association studio has works by Paul Raimon, Kelly Shoemaker and Stephanie McDairmant on display now until April 27.
- The LAA is holding a spring art competition. Pick up entry forms at the gallery and call (574) 267-5568 for more details. Paintings will be accepted from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 22.