Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Manet, Portraying Life... London's first blockbuster exhibition of the year, that recently opened at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Focusing on the portraits of Edouard Manet (1832 - 1883), the exhibition does not include some of his more provocative works that arguably established him as the father of modern art. These include the 1863 works Olympia and the original Dejeuner sur l'herbe (both of which are at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, where they'll aparently never leave). Although there is a later recreation of the latter included, there emission would be understandable as they are far less conventional portraits than the artworks on display. This is why I was probably more surprised that A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1881-2) was not borrowed from across London at the Courtauld Gallery.

Having said this, there are many masterpieces's in this understandably busy exhibition to keep fans of Manet happy, of which these are my highlights....

Boy Blowing Bubbles (1867) (oil on canvas)

Fishing (1862-63) (oil on canvas)

Berthe Morisot in mourning (1874) (oil on canvas)

Although not as beautifully finished and detailed as many of the faces Manet painted, I like the energy in this work that I feel makes it stand out from most of his other displayed portraits.


Portrait of Fanny Claus (Study for the balcony) (1868-69) (oil on canvas)

Portrait of M. Antonin Proust (1880) (oil on canvas)

The Railway (1873) (oil on canvas)

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