Edouard Manet

Édouard Manet (French pronunciation: [edwaʁ manɛ]), 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883, was a French painter. One of the first nineteenth century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

The Railway, 1872-1873.

The Railway is one of Manet's most important and ravishing paintings. It's dominated by two figures. One, the little girl, was reportedly the daughter of Manet's neighbor, Alphonse Hirsch. The other was Victorine Meurent, the woman who posed for Manet's most sensational pictures, Déjeuner sur l'herbe and Olympia (Musée d'Orsay, Paris). They are pictured in the garden behind Hirsch's apartment house, at the edge of which was a tall, iron fence.

Behind them are railway tracks leading to the Gare Saint-Lazare, then the largest train station in Paris. The Station is suggested by the cloud of steam at center and the signalman's hut.

In the right background you can see one of the large masonry pillars and the end of the iron gridwork of the pont de l'Europe -- the bridge that funneled six city streets across the tracks. On the left is the facade and entryway of Manet's studio. His painting, which drops you into the midst of urban Paris and in the very neighborhood of the artist, is the essence of a modern picture


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