Author(s): John Richardson
Edouard Manet (1832-83) was one of the greatest, as well as one of the most interesting, of nineteenth-century French painters. Acute observation, an extraordinary skilful handling of paint and a feeling for exquisite harmonies of colour make his work both vivid and enchanting. It is also of great significance in the history of European painting, since Manet, a pioneer in depicting modern life in a modern style, was a formative influence on the whole Impressionist movement. 'Olympia' and 'The Picnic' are among the key works of the nineteenth century. These, and many other crucial points - among them Manet's personality, with its many contradictions - are fully discussed by John Richardson.
John Richardson is an eminent critic and art historian.