Posted on February 4, 2013

Manet was a die-hard, out-and-out, all guns blazing artistic rebel. Hard to believe when you look at the familiar chocolate-box paintings of middle class Paris scenes and pretty dappled landscapes that gave rise to the birth of Impressionism. But believe it or not, Manet dropped more jaws and drew more outraged cries than Tracey Emin’s bed when he first started exhibiting in 19th Century Paris (he set up his own exhibitions because he was banned from the Paris salons).

What on earth could have been so offensive? The latest blockbuster exhibition at the RCA: Manet: Portraying Life aims to uncover the stories behind the famous paintings. The infamous Dejeuner sur l’Herbe is there in all its baldly unapologetic nakedness, the scandalous depiction of a naked woman in a real, contemporary setting made all the more abrasive thanks to her partners in picnic crime, two gentlemen fully clothed.

Also present are portraits of Manet’s haute bourgeoisie contemporaries: the writer Emile Zola perusing his own work; the poet Baudelaire and the composer Offenbach both represented in his large-scale Music at the Tuileries. Some of the artist’s more famous works are sadly omitted – we don’t get to see the scandalous Olympia, depicting a modern day courtesan, for example, but there’s plenty of insight into 19th century fashionable Paris via the 54 paintings that are present.

We love this exhibition because it strips down our previously held notions of Manet as ‘Father of Impressionism’ and gentile portraitist, and instead reveals him as a radical innovator and scribe of his times. If you’re in London or heading here soon, be sure to book so you don’t miss out.



You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Somebody essentially lend a hand to make critically articles I would state.
This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now?

I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular submit incredible.
Fantastic activity! WEIGHT DESTROYER program REVIEW

Report this comment

Woman An Unforgettable Sexual Experience Anytime, Anywhes

Report this comment

tour through time and space. Unravel the mysteries of the cosmos in the interactive Weller Astronomy galleries , touch a 4.5 billion year-old meteorite and try your hand at being an astronomer by guiding your very own space mission. girlsdoporn

Report this comment

Post a comment

Topshop Tweets

Nothing says its nearly the weekend like our sequin cami http://t.co/Pvu6OVotWL http://t.co/1PVxIaWd5Z
about 3 hours ago

Get your own personal stylist on demand with My Topshop Wardrobe http://t.co/uEuWSSmSPj
about 6 hours ago

Topshop Instagram


See more snaps

Download our app

Read our blog on the go with the Topshop iPhone app!