- The Uncompromising Realism of Edouard Manet [Suggested Reading]
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Edouard Manet
Suggested Reading

Edouard Manet : Rebel in a Frock Coat
(Beth Archer Brombert )
"Brombert's reading of important canvasses . . . shine, as do her accounts of the changing social and political environment in which Manet worked. . . . Well researched, complexly conceived, and clearly written." [Kirkus Reviews]

Manet's Modernism : Or, the Face of Painting in the 1860s
(Michael Fried )
Our current understanding of the paintings of Manet is so heavily filtered through the lens of Impressionism that in many ways, his contributions to art history have been obscured. Called the "first modernist," his paintings marked a break with the past and paved the way for what we've come to accept as modern art in the treatment of the canvas as a flat surface. But during his time, Manet's modernist innovations were the object of ridicule. "It's flat, it isn't modeled," said Courbet of the nude in the painting Olympia. "It's like the Queen of Hearts after a bath." In Manet's Modernism, Michael Fried has set out to see Manet as his contemporaries would have seen him and to gain a more accurate reading of Manet's place in history.

Manet, Monet, and the Gare Saint-Lazare
(Juliet Wilson Bareau )
Manet, Monet, and the Gare Saint-Lazare, which was published to accompany an exhibit of the same name at the Musée D'Orsay in Paris and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in 1998, is exceptionally well conceived. With the "Gare Saint-Lazare" as a centerpiece, writer Juliet Wilson-Bareau launches into a survey of the work of Claude Monet, who painted a group of canvases depicting the same neighborhood, and Gustave Caillebotte, whose two most important works portray the same area. She contrasts the artists' vantage points and finished pieces in order to compare their diverse perspectives of a similar scene and examines the symbolism of the steam train as harbinger of a new age. The book includes finely reproduced color images of the painters' work, albumen prints of the area taken during the era in which they were painted, bird's-eye maps of the station, and some contemporary photos of the area. It is a well informed and incisive assessment of both a seminal body of artwork and an important moment in Paris's cultural history.

The Last Flowers of Manet
(Robert Gordon, Andrew Forge, Richard Howard (Translator) )
This 1986 volume collects for the first time 17 paintings by the famous Impressionist painter that are among the last he completed before his tragic death at age 51. Also included are selections from Manet's letters and papers plus an essay by Gordon. Though slim, this beautiful hardcover is a steal.


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