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Edouard Manet Art Prints and Posters
Despite occasionally being described as the godfather of Impressionism, Edouard Manet was never known to have thrown a hand grenade into the Cafe Guerbois (The Gerbil Cafe) or to have taken out a contract on Degas, although he did once put a horse's head in Pissarro's napsack (but that was just lunch).
Edouard was born into a wealthy family of Parisian 'borejoys' but failed to enter careers in the law and navy because he was too thick (or too smart). After attending art school he began contravening artistic convention by painting scenes of 'everyday life' (yes, radical and scary) and in 1863 he exhibited 'Dejeuner sur L'herbe', his famous painting of two fully-clothed men having a picnic with a couple of naked air hostesses (the woods round his way were teeming with that sort of thing). This ground-breaking picture, also known as 'Luncheon on the Grass' (or, 'Tell Us Where You've Hidden The Mayonnaise And We'll Give You Your Clothes Back') caused one group of hot-blooded painters to react in a manner that only young men can, in addition to which they formed the group of artists known as the Impressionists.
Two years later, Edouard's 'Olympia', a nude in the style of Titian's 'Venus', caused such a kerfuffle that it had to be hung extra high up, well out of reach of angry umbrellas, cantankerous canes (and slobbering perverts). In 1874 the Impressionists held their first show at Nadar's gallery but Edouard acted like a right frog-in-a-manger and refused to contribute a single picture. In the same year he had lots of fun painting 'en plein air' and pretending to be Claude Monet. In 1881 he was awarded a Legion of Honor. He died in 1883, after losing his leg.Copyright Michael Cox