Last Updated 15 Apr 2020

Manet and Paris De Refuses

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Edouard Manet lived an intriguing life significantly changing world history, especially in the arts. In the 19th century, Salon De Paris hosted a yearly public exhibition of artists paintings approved by the board. Edouard Manet’s controversial and unexpected paintings became the biggest challenge and publicity for the salon, probably not in the way the Paris Des Salon would have chosen. All artists displaying exhibitions sanctioned by the show were required to paint within the standards and codes of conduct set by the French Art Academy; Academie des Beaux-Arts.

Any artists refusing to follow educational guidelines were rejected from showing their paintings. Their work had to abide by the educational standards taught in the French school to show paintings in the Salon De Paris exhibition. Edouard Manet was not very accommodating to tradition, a rebellion for being discharged from the Navy. In 1862, the Salon De Paris rejected Edouard Manet’s painting, Luncheon on the Grass. This rejection started a series of events marking a turning point in the history of art. Manet’s and other young French artists who admired the impressionists art style challenged the salon’s decisions.

Napoleon 111 opened an exhibition allowing the salon’s rejects to display their art. The event which was separate from Salon De Paris was named Salon des Refuses, meaning the salons rejects. At this time, it was not considered a high honor to have works displayed in the Salon des Refuses. Today, the artists who had their work showcase in the Salon des Refuses have the same notoriety and respect as artists who’s work was accepted by the Salon des Paris. Manets paintings were very pleasing, aesthetic, but were prevented from accepted by the public. It was the times they lived in.

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When they did reach the public, his paintings received harsh, vicious criticism. Manets paintings directly went against the erroneous purpose and rigid rules of academic art teachings. The academy had problems accepting Manets technique and subject matter, often portraying women with no clothes, two men in landscape or outdoor settings. All of his paintings were fully colored, not having any shadows in the pictures. The 1862 Salon Des Refuses lead to the Avant-Garde, which simply means testing the traditional rules or pushing beyond the boundaries.

The rejection of Luncheon on the Grass, the opening of the Salon des Refuses and the Avant-Garde lead the movement of art world into Impressionism. Edouard Manet’s rebellion against military, education and politically correct standards through his paintings made more contributions than any one person ever did from any point in history. Manet and Salon Des Refuses Introduction: Edouard Manet was a French artists famous for inventing the entire impression era during his very short lived life, dying at only 50 years old.

After his discharged from the military, he devoted his entire life to art. Through his art career, he inspired historical changes influencing all aspects of the artworld. Significant changes inspired by Manet influenced music, drama, theatre dance and paintings. In his brief lifetime, the impression class, the avant-garde and Salon des Refusal became fully developed legitimate organizations upon challenging Salon de Paris's rejection of his painting. Impressionism; According to the study of Manets style, impressionism is heavily associated with color.

Manet is the mastermind behind the impressionism era. Manet’s breaking traditions began the impression age, but the impressionism era was marked when Monet created a painting called Sunrise. “The term impressionism was coined to describe the work of certain painters who professed to record the impression which they have received from the object studied. At close range, the picture appeared confused and intelligible; it was necessary to stand some distance away from it in order to discover what it was all about” (Forest, 1913, Page 584).

Realism painters are very formal artists, concealing any individuality, uniqueness, identity or personality within the messages or storytelling in their artwork. The purpose of realism paintings are to retell historical events from the past. Up until Manets invention of the impression stage, artists created artwork to keep history alive, and relay the same historical messages in multiple different interpretations. Impressionism is a resemblance of the contrast between today’s Ballet dance vs Hip hop. The art does not have to follow narrow based rules and may be an expression of the individual to please the audience.

Art is not required to be a reinvention of sentimental or historical meaning to serve a purpose, or target an audience. Art can be aesthetically pleasing. Aesthetic art work does not reinvent history, it makes history while keeping up with the current trends, Impression or aesthetic usually appeals to a younger generation, perhaps more common, everyday people. This type of art in music, dance, theatre is usually taken at face value, or for what it is. Impressionist’s artists paint in the here and now. They are not concerned about the future, or the past.

Both an impressionists and realism artist create a piece of art or paint a picture of the same beach. Each artist would use different colors, shadowing methods, brush stroke techniques. Both beach paintings would show clouds in the sky. The picture painted by the impressionists would have shorter, broken up clouds, resembling exactly what the viewer would see if they went to that beach when the artist painted it. The impression artist goes to the place where he or she can see what they are painting or drawing. The realism artists paints outdoor scenery while they are in the studio.

The clouds, sun, waves symbolizes a historical story. Impressionists uses brighter colors, place strong emphasis on natural outdoor lighting and the actual surroundings. Realism artists took pride in people staying spell bound by their work, to get the hidden meanings portrayed through symbology. Artists wants to take its audience into a deeper level, consuming their attention, leaving them with something they will remember, or even change their life. Artists intend on making lasting impressions on its audience.

The salon wanted to maintain a certain status level of its customers. “Although Edouard Manet studied for six years with Thomas Couture, his painting style was primarily influenced by studying the old masters in the Musee de Louvre in Paris, particularly the works of Spanish painters, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Jusepe de Ribera and most important Diego Velazquez” (Kramer, 2002). Today, it stands no secret Manet greatly admired Velazquez. The art traditions set by Manet was inspired by Velazquez. The Salon De Paris and the Academie des Beaux-Arts:

The Salon De Paris was a highly prestigious well respected event organized by the Academie des Beaux-Arts. The Salon De Paris was made up of a board of highly qualified judges who analyzed paintings submitted by artists. The salon first concern was to ensure all paintings displayed in the show satisfied all requirements set by the French art academy. The academy wanted to retain a certain level of customers. The Salon De Paris, working closely with the Academie des Beaux-Arts had an obligation to honor Napoleon 111 regulations.

Napoleon 111 was a French emperor having full rein of the school. When the salon rejected Edouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass, the salons authority was immediately questioned. The rejection of this painting, inspired Manet to go through a process beginning a series of events that permanently changed art. Manets impression paintings were new, introduced the unfamiliar. The Avant-guard is all about breaking boundaries, pushing limitations. Many musicians, singers and George Bush Jr and his cabinet are accused of pushing boundaries, only a compliment to them.

Traditional paintings, or paintings following the academic standards retold history, suppressing their own ideas. The salon or the art academy tested artists imaginations and creativity. Artists were discouraged from inventing or painting any stories or ideas, or pictures just for an image of the picture itself. Artists were required to paint what already existed, or did at one time or another. Although they were retelling history, they faced the challenge of inventing original ways to tell the same story repeated thousands times through previous paintings, theatre, music and writings.

If an artist was talented, had a great imagination, and was inspired strong enough by historical events, he was capable of creating orginal fascinating works which portrayed the same meaning. All artist before the impression era had to create their art to retell biblical and traditional stories. Any individual messages from the artists had to be within the traditional social standards passed on through many generations. The Salon Des Refuses: The Salon Des Refuses rejected Manets painting, Luncheon on the Grass, because the subject matter was considered indecent.

Manet painted an out of shape naked woman having a picnic on the grass with two fully clothed men. Artists have used artist’s models, a naked person who sits in a pose for the artists to paint, since the beginning of art. In the realism stages, or if the naked model symbolized a historical time event, it was considered art. Naked models painted in a realistic setting were considered pornography content. The rejection of Luncheon on the Grass and Whistler’s, A White Girl, drew lots of complaints from the public and the French artists who supported Manet’s style.

Napoleon made the decision to allow a public exhibition of the salons rejects. The event was separate from the Salon De Paris. The salon repeatedly rejected Manets paintings, yet he kept submitting paintings in the same aesthetic style. Many art historians argue Manets rejections were intentional. “Many scholars contend that Manets 1863 masterpieces Dejeuner sur l Herbe, Breakfast in the Grass and Olympia set the stage for modern evolution of modern art and the 1907 creation of Picasso’s Demoiselle D Avignon. Was this intentional?

Artists and art historian Anderson believe it was, arguing that the French painter wished to challenge academic paradigms pertaining to both style and the substance of artworks submitted to the Paris Salon Jury” ( Lajos, 2005). Submission of artwork rejected over and over, and resubmission making no compromise to alter paintings to conform to academic standards indicates Manet had altered motives for submitting his work. A generous inheritance from his father allowed Manet the financial independence to break these traditional rules, and paint mainly for his own enjoyment.

Of course, the reason behind repeated submissions to the salon, if any, can only be left to individual opinions. The salons refusal to accept his paintings are narrowed down to one issue; The prestigious Salon des Paris and the academy had no way of foretelling publics reactions to acceptance of art that have not been tested. It was a political risk for the salon. Through most of Manets life, he was ridiculed, criticized, received harsh psychological attacks from the public. The attitude of the people says much more about people in general than Manets paintings.

People rejecting Manets paintings wrote books about his artwork. Any painting, no matter how unappealing, does not have the ability to leave the gallery and harm these people who were so angry with the paintings. People are obsessed with the things they hate. One critic wrote a book about the impressionist artists titled “In Praise of Cosmetics. ” Her theory was that Manets use of color with several paintings featuring naked women reflected prostitutes. Cosmetics are viewed as artificial, something a woman uses to seduce a man.

This is seldom true, but cosmetics are often viewed in this light. The salon certainly did not want to offend activists involved in women’s rights movement, who concluded Manets paintings branded women as prostitutes. The content or the objects Manet drew was found objectionable by the salon. Many of his paintings showed a woman with no clothes with two men, outdoors. This is what the public was concerned about, not the coloring content, although it was used as a reason for rejection. They did not want to bring attention or focus to the naked women.

Manet could argue that art used naked women in the renaissance ages. Other analysts interpret Manets paintings as a rebellion surfacing from his discharge from the military. He is leaving no room in his interpretations through the use repeatedly criticized color, light and atmosphere, he is protesting against anything standing for tradition, military or academic. He is telling everyone he is not following the current rules for art, and has no intentions to do so, he is still going to produce paintings by his own rules. Manet could never see himself wearing his uniform through a painting.

He expressed respect and admiration for the uniform, but could not actually picture himself in the uniform. Manet had respect for the salon and the academy, but just could see himself in the academy. Through the art work and relationship with the Salon des Refusal, or Salon des Paris, he was living out his life experience with the military discharge. (Wright 2004). The more the public ridiculed Manet, the more controversial his paintings became. This was intentional. After a while of being ridiculed, mocked and harassed, the target begins to do whatever it takes to kept the reactions going.

If anything, they are talking about his paintings the most. Whatever people hate, is the one thing that has them enslaved. Everyone is obsessed with whatever it is they hate or despise. Salon Des Paris Biggest Change: Salon Des Paris became the center of everyone’s concerns when its opposing event, Salon Des Refuses 1863 occurred. The Salon Des Refuses received publicity because of what it did not accept. (Wynford, 1904). The Salon Des Paris had a long term relationship with Manet. In 1859, Manet sent his first painting to the salon, The Absinth Drinker, the salon rejected it.

The next two paintings, a double portrait of his mother and father and the Spanish Guitar was not only accepted by the salon, but highly honored. From here on out, the Salon and Manet continuously rebelled against each other. The only other honor the Salon would give Manet was a year before his death. In 1861, the salon refused another submission by Manet; Music at the Tuileries. Music at the Tuileries was more than just another painting for Manet. He set a new trend called en plein air, which the recently rejected painting was to be a trademark or signature of Manets original painting style. (1904)

En plein air, translating to, in plain air, is the standard technique used by impression artists. Impression artists are famous for painting landscapes and outdoor painting. They paint from outside the studio. The realism artists painted landscapes and outdoor paintings. They used neutral, down to earth tones, grey, shades and colors. Impressionists use colors closer to giving actual visualization of the outdoor brightness. The background of their paintings actually set the coloring, usually daylight or moonlight, overlooking the entire picture. The impression artists did not paint many small details.

The impressionists painted with what they imagined the audience saw when looking at the picture at first glance. The paintings make an impression at first glance. And needless to say, en plein air painting trend broke all traditional rules of painting. Manet replaced shadows, greys, blacks and other neutral colors with bright colors. All of the space on the canvas was filled with vivid contrasting colors. The Salon des Refuses in 1863 was a one time event. In 1865, the Salon des Paris discouraging another Salon des Refuses allowed all artists to display their exhibitions.

They had another surprise. Manet shocked them once again with his painting, The Olympia. The very next exhibition, the Salon nonapologetically, nonsympathetically, without much consideration refused Manets paintings. (1904) Conclusion: At the very end of Manets life and career, his artwork and contributions were accepted, and honored. Edourd Manet 1832-83) was a French artists famous for inventing the entire impression era, during his very short lived life, died at only 50 years old, he inspired historical through his art career in all aspects of the art world.

Significant changes inspired by Manet influenced music, drama, theatre dance and paintings. In his brief lifetime, the impression class, the Avant-garde and Salon des Refusal became fully developed legitimate organizations when he challenged the Salon des Paris's rejection of his paintings. The Salon des Paris did rejected works to uphold a certain class of people. Educated people attracted to art look beyond the visual aspects, are taken into the storytelling of the art work to derive deeper meanings out of it.

Aesthetics and Impressionism art, according to the art analyst of that time were going to attract people who take art at face value, such as viewing a nude person as porn, or some other inappropriate sexual interpretation. These types of people have little money, younger crowd and will find great humor in breaking into the gallery “just to get a naked picture. ” The salon probably considered this possibility when rejecting Manets works. However, Manet would not have stood out like he does today if he did not receive continuous rejections from the Salon.

Creating sexual artwork falling into grey areas is the fastest way for an artists to become famous. Famous means everyone is talking about that artists more than other artists. Many historians point to incredibly believable supporting evidence that Manet purposely seeked repeated rejections from the salon. The one time he made his mark in history, was not when he convinced Napoleon 111 to hold an exhibition of the salons rejects, but probably when he submitted a painting of the Olympia the year after the salon allowed an open exhibition, preventing another Salon des Refusal.

Some professionals studying Manet and the Salon Des Refusal argue his secretive rebellion for his military discharge surfaced through his paintings. Manets works that were refused by the public and the salon worked for him. The salon could have came with any reason for continuous rejections, the technique or subject content. Manet was always seeking controversy, not every rejected painting from the salon was by accident. He created an entirely new art era, called the impressionism stage. Today, his rejected artworks hangs in the most prestigious of the art galleries.

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