● Although this piece does a lot of things against tradition, Manet still uses a triangular focal point to pull the viewer’s eye around, there is even proportion, and there is perceived depth and space. What differences does this work from the academic tradition of Manet's time? ● He used the technique of color patching which is a flat application of paint. He claimed to have done this to save art from photography. How does this work influence painting up to our time? ● Manet influenced modern painting not only by his use of realistic subject matter but also by his challenge to the three-dimensional perspectivalism Why, if Manet is academically trained, does he choose to paint in a style that does not match the expectations of the French Academy? ● Manet paints in this style to try to save art from photography. He wants to paint in a way that cannot be created or reproduced by a camera, therefore he created his own new techniques. Manet's Olympia also references traditional grand manner painting-- explain what work he is paraphrasing. ● Olympia is paraphrasing Titian’s Venus of Urbino . Compare this work closely with its model. How is the work similar to and different from its source? ● The work is similar in the sense that it is a similar setup with a similar model and location. However, the overall theme and tone are the complete opposite of Titian’s piece. Manet’s woman is stiff and angular while Titian’s woman is curvy and soft. Manet used cold and harsh colors compared to Titian’s warm colors. Titian’s woman looks at the man lovely and openly while Manet’s woman is stiff and unwelcoming. The dog in Titian’s piece is comfortable and relaxed while the cat in Manet’s painting appears threatened and uncomfortable . Why did this work also generate controversy? ● It rejects the tradition of nude women always being accommodating and willing. What seems to have been Manet's agenda in portraying this work the way he does--what is he saying about his society? ● All of Manet’s pieces seem to address the social issues of gender and class. I think he is trying to bring awareness to class and gender differences by making the viewer feel what the people in his paintings feel. For example, the bartender feels like she is being put on show and you can see her despair, while the woman in Olympia seems tense and nervous about her encounter with her new husband. He’s trying to point out that not everything in life is a happy ending or a fairytale. In lecture we discussed the Bar at the Folies-Bergére as conveying something about contemporary urban society. Discuss this aspect of the painting, and Manet's possible suggestion of something that contradicts this message, seen elsewhere in the painting. ● On the right side of the painting, a man is seen in the reflection and is standing seemingly close to the bartender. However, if he was really that close to her, he would be seen in the painting, not just the reflection. This makes the viewer seem as if they are the ones standing right in front of the bartender and it also implies that there may be a fantasy of this man wanting to be more intimate with the bartender than she is allowing.
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- Spring '08
- History of painting, Western painting, Édouard Manet