FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 325 Pointing out a weakness to Richard Dawkins in his new book OUTGROWING GOD (Dawkins’ claims evidence does not back up the view that Abraham existed) November 4, 2019 Open Letter to Richard Dawkins, Featured artist is Édouard Manet

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Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins

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XXXX November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019

Richard Dawkins c/o Richard Dawkins Foundation, 
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

I have enjoyed reading about a dozen of your books and some of the most intriguing were The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.


I have posted in the past showing the false claims made in “Outgrowing God,” and you can reference these by googling “Outgrowing God The Daily Hatch.” Some questions raised by you include “Did Jesus even exist?” One of my favorite posts was FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 292 In OUTGROWING GOD Richard Dawkins wrongly notes “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham” Featured Artist is Paul Pfeiffer

I enjoyed your latest book Outgrowing God which is one of my favorite books that you have written. 

However, there are some some weak parts of the book. For instance, on pages 90-92 you write: 

The best response to this I could find was from The Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by one of my spiritual heroes Gleason Archer. 

The kings in Genesis 14 be historically trustworthy? While it is true that direct archaeological confirmation of this exciting episode in Abraham’s career has not yet come to light, there are no valid scientific grounds for rejecting the account in Genesis 14 as unhistorical. Apart from the documents from twentieth-century B.C. Ur, there is no extensive source of information regarding this period apart from Genesis itself–at least so far as Mesopotamia is concerned. The name of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, contains familiar Elamite components: kudur meant “servant,” and Lagamar was a high goddess in the Elamite pantheon. Kitchen (Ancient Orient, p. 44) generally prefers the vocalization Kutir instead of Kudur and gives the references for at least three Elamite royal names of this type. He equates Tid’al with a Hittite name, Tudkhaliya, attested from the nineteenth century B.C. As for Arioch, one king of Larsa (“Ellasar”) from this era was Eri-aku (“Servant of the Moon-God”), whose name in Akkadian was Arad-Sin (with the same meaning). The Mari Tablets refer to persons by the name of Ariyuk. The cuneiform original of Amraphel, formerly equated with Hammurabi of Babylon, is not demonstrable for the twentieth century (Hammurabi himself dates from the eighteenth century), but there may possibly be a connection with Amorite names like Amud-pa-ila, according to H.B. Huffmon (see Kitchen’s footnote on p. 44 for documentation). 

All the above information has come to light since the heyday of the Documentary Hypothesis, when learned scholars contemptuously dismissed this whole account as late and totally fictional. But even such notable experts as H. Gunkel and W. F. Albright in our own century have concluded that Genesis 14 rests on authentic backgrounds in the 83 history of the early second millennium B.C. In H. C. Alleman and E. E. Flack’s Old Testament Commentary (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1954), p. 14, W. F. Albright remarked: “In spite of our failure hitherto to fix the historical horizon of this chapter, we may be certain that its contents are very ancient. There are several words and expressions found nowhere else in the Bible and now known to belong to the second millennium. The names of the towns in Transjordania are also known to be very ancient.” It should be added that according to G. Pettinato, the leading epigraphist of the Ebla documents dating from 2400-2250 B.C., mention is made in the Ebla tablets of Sodom (spelled Si-da-mu), Gomorrah (spelled in Sumerian cuneiform I-ma-ar), and Zoar (Za-e-ar). He feels that quite possibly these may be the same cities mentioned in the Abrahamic narrative (cf. “BAR Interviews Pettinato,” p. 48). 

The authenticity of the background is established with a high degree of probability by the evidence just cited, even from the standpoint of objective scholarship–even apart from the absolute trustworthiness of Scripture, to which all true believers are committed as a matter of faith. But as to the credibility of the episode itself, it must be acknowledged that it was a most exceptional feat of daring on the part of a peaceful nomad like Abraham, to attempt to rout a large invading force of professional soldiers like those of the Mesopotamian invaders. After their brilliant victory over the allied forces of the Sodomite confederacy (14:8-10), the booty-laden conquerors should have made short work of Abraham’s 318 henchmen and his meager force of Amorite allies, who could hardly have exceeded 1000 men in all. 

In normal daylight conditions, it would have been suicidal for Abraham’s forces to attack the Mesopotamian soldiers on any battlefield. But Abraham caught up to them by forced marches and fell on them by night, when they were totally unprepared for combat. Dividing his forces up into several groups (Gen. 14:15), he apparently used a strategy somewhat similar to that of Gideon–who routed an even greater army of Midianites by the strategic use of only 300 men (Judg. 7:19-22). The secret of success, humanly speaking, was the inducement of panic among the heterogenous, polyglott forces of the invaders, who had no way of knowing how many attackers they had to face, and hardly knew which way to flee. But, of course, the real cause of victory was the miraculous power of God, who was pleased to give Abraham complete victory on this occasion–not only that he might rescue his nephew Lot, but also as a token of the ultimate triumph that Abraham’s descendants would achieve under the leadership of Joshua 570 years later.

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Dr. Dawkins, you have a 150 year advantage over your hero Charles Darwin and the archaeologist’s spade has continued to dig. Take a look at this piece of evidence from the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

In the previous chapter we saw that the Bible gives us the explanation for the existence of the universe and its form and for the mannishness of man. Or, to reverse this, we came to see that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are a testimony to the truth of the Bible. In this chapter we will consider a third testimony: the Bible’s openness to verification by historical study.

Christianity involves history. To say only that is already to have said something remarkable, because it separates the Judeo-Christian world-view from almost all other religious thought. It is rooted in history.

The Bible tells us how God communicated with man in history. For example, God revealed Himself to Abraham at a point in time and at a particular geographical place. He did likewise with Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel and so on. The implications of this are extremely important to us. Because the truth God communicated in the Bible is so tied up with the flow of human events, it is possible by historical study to confirm some of the historical details.

It is remarkable that this possibility exists. Compare the information we have from other continents of that period. We know comparatively little about what happened in Africa or South America or China or Russia or even Europe. We see beautiful remains of temples and burial places, cult figures, utensils, and so forth, but there is not much actual “history” that can be reconstructed, at least not much when compared to that which is possible in the Middle East.

When we look at the material which has been discovered from the Nile to the Euphrates that derives from the 2500-year span before Christ, we are in a completely different situation from that in regard to South America or Asia. The kings of Egypt and Assyria built thousands of monuments commemorating their victories and recounting their different exploits. Whole libraries have been discovered from places like Nuzu and Mari and most recently at Elba, which give hundreds of thousands of texts relating to the historical details of their time. It is within this geographical area that the Bible is set. So it is possible to find material which bears upon what the Bible tells us.

The Bible purports to give us information on history. Is the history accurate? The more we understand about the Middle East between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100, the more confident we can be that the information in the Bible is reliable, even when it speaks about the simple things of time and place.

So the story goes on. We have stopped at only a few incidents in the sweep back to the year 1000 B.C. What we hope has emerged from this is a sense of the historical reliability of the Bible’s text. When the Bible refers to historical incidents, it is speaking about the same sort of “history” that historians examine elsewhere in other cultures and periods. This borne out by the fact that some of the incidents, some of the individuals, and some of the places have been confirmed by archaeological discoveries in the past hundred years has swept away the possibility of a naive skepticism about the Bible’s history. And what is particularly striking is that the tide has built up concerning the time before the year 1000 B.C. Our knowledge about the years 2500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. has vastly increased through discoveries sometimes of whole libraries and even of hitherto unknown people and languages.

There was a time, for example, when the Hittite people, referred to in the early parts of the Bible, were treated as fictitious by critical scholars. Then came the discoveries after 1906 at Boghaz Koi (Boghaz-koy) which not only gave us the certainty of their existence but stacks of details from their own archives!

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer at their home in Switzerland with some visiting friends

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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DawkinsWard

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Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

The Basis of Human Dignity by Francis Schaeffer

Richard Dawkins, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Credit: Don Arnold Getty Images

Francis Schaeffer in 1984

Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer in 1982

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Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Episode 1

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Garik Israelian, Stephen Hawking, Alexey Leonov, Brian May, Richard Dawkins and Harry Kroto

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Featured artist is Édouard Manet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to search“Manet” redirects here. For other uses, see Manet (disambiguation).Not to be confused with Claude Monet, an Impressionist painter of the same era, friend of Manet.

Édouard Manet
portrait by Nadar
Born23 January 1832
ParisFrance
Died30 April 1883 (aged 51)
Paris, France
Known forPainting, printmaking
Notable workThe Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe), 1863
Olympia, 1863
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère), 1882
Young Flautist or The Fifer (Le Fifre), 1866
MovementRealismImpressionism
Spouse(s)Suzanne Leenhoff (m. 1863)

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Édouard Manet (UK/ˈmæneɪ/US/mæˈneɪ, mə-/,[1][2] French: [edwaʁ manɛ]; 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French modernist painter. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

Born into an upper-class household with strong political connections, Manet rejected the future originally envisioned for him, and became engrossed in the world of painting. His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the start of modern art. The last 20 years of Manet’s life saw him form bonds with other great artists of the time, and develop his own style that would be heralded as innovative and serve as a major influence for future painters.

Contents

Early life[edit]

Manet’s portrait painted by Fantin-Latour

Édouard Manet was born in Paris on 23 January 1832, in the ancestral hôtel particulier (mansion) on the rue des Petits Augustins (now rue Bonaparte) to an affluent and well-connected family.[3] His mother, Eugénie-Desirée Fournier, was the daughter of a diplomat and goddaughter of the Swedish crown prince Charles Bernadotte, from whom the Swedish monarchs are descended. His father, Auguste Manet, was a French judge who expected Édouard to pursue a career in law. His uncle, Edmond Fournier, encouraged him to pursue painting and took young Manet to the Louvre.[4] In 1841 he enrolled at secondary school, the Collège Rollin. In 1845, at the advice of his uncle, Manet enrolled in a special course of drawing where he met Antonin Proust, future Minister of Fine Arts and subsequent lifelong friend.

At his father’s suggestion, in 1848 he sailed on a training vessel to Rio de Janeiro. After he twice failed the examination to join the Navy,[5] his father relented to his wishes to pursue an art education. From 1850 to 1856, Manet studied under the academic painter Thomas Couture. In his spare time, Manet copied the Old Masters in the Louvre.

From 1853 to 1856, Manet visited Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, during which time he was influenced by the Dutch painter Frans Hals, and the Spanish artists Diego Velázquez and Francisco José de Goya.

Career[edit]

In 1856, Manet opened a studio. His style in this period was characterized by loose brush strokes, simplification of details and the suppression of transitional tones. Adopting the current style of realism initiated by Gustave Courbet, he painted The Absinthe Drinker (1858–59) and other contemporary subjects such as beggars, singers, Gypsies, people in cafés, and bullfights. After his early career, he rarely painted religious, mythological, or historical subjects; examples include his Christ Mocked, now in the Art Institute of Chicago, and Christ with Angels, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Manet had two canvases accepted at the Salon in 1861. A portrait of his mother and father, who at the time was paralysed and robbed of speech by a stroke, was ill-received by critics. The other, The Spanish Singer, was admired by Theophile Gautier, and placed in a more conspicuous location as a result of its popularity with Salon-goers. Manet’s work, which appeared “slightly slapdash” when compared with the meticulous style of so many other Salon paintings, intrigued some young artists. The Spanish Singer, painted in a “strange new fashion [-] caused many painters’ eyes to open and their jaws to drop.”[6]

Music in the Tuileries[edit]

Main article: Music in the Tuileries

Music in the Tuileries, 1862

Music in the Tuileries is an early example of Manet’s painterly style. Inspired by Hals and Velázquez, it is a harbinger of his lifelong interest in the subject of leisure.

While the picture was regarded as unfinished by some,[4] the suggested atmosphere imparts a sense of what the Tuileries gardens were like at the time; one may imagine the music and conversation.

Here, Manet has depicted his friends, artists, authors, and musicians who take part, and he has included a self-portrait among the subjects.

Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe)[edit]

Main article: Le déjeuner sur l’herbe

The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe), 1863

A major early work is The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe), originally Le Bain. The Paris Salon rejected it for exhibition in 1863, but Manet agreed to exhibit it at the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Rejected) which was a parallel exhibition to the official Salon, as an alternative exhibition in the Palais des Champs-Elysée. The Salon des Refusés was initiated by Emperor Napoleon III as a solution to a problematic situation which came about as the Selection Committee of the Salon that year rejected 2,783 paintings of the ca. 5000. Each painter could decide whether to take the opportunity to exhibit at the Salon des Refusés, less than 500 of the rejected painters chose to do so.

Manet employed model Victorine Meurent, his wife Suzanne, future brother-in-law Ferdinand Leenhoff, and one of his brothers to pose. Meurent also posed for several more of Manet’s important paintings including Olympia; and by the mid-1870s she became an accomplished painter in her own right.

The painting’s juxtaposition of fully dressed men and a nude woman was controversial, as was its abbreviated, sketch-like handling, an innovation that distinguished Manet from Courbet. At the same time, Manet’s composition reveals his study of the old masters, as the disposition of the main figures is derived from Marcantonio Raimondi‘s engraving of the Judgement of Paris (c. 1515) based on a drawing by Raphael.[4]

Two additional works cited by scholars as important precedents for Le déjeuner sur l’herbe are Pastoral Concert (c. 1510, The Louvre) and The Tempest (Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice), both of which are attributed variously to Italian Renaissance masters Giorgione or Titian.[7] The Tempest is an enigmatic painting featuring a fully dressed man and a nude woman in a rural setting. The man is standing to the left and gazing to the side, apparently at the woman, who is seated and breastfeeding a baby; the relationship between the two figures is unclear.[8] In Pastoral Concert, two clothed men and a nude woman are seated on the grass, engaged in music making, while a second nude woman stands beside them.

Olympia[edit]

Olympia, 1863Main article: Olympia (Manet)

As he had in Luncheon on the Grass, Manet again paraphrased a respected work by a Renaissance artist in the painting Olympia (1863), a nude portrayed in a style reminiscent of early studio photographs, but whose pose was based on Titian‘s Venus of Urbino (1538). The painting is also reminiscent of Francisco Goya‘s painting The Nude Maja (1800).

Manet embarked on the canvas after being challenged to give the Salon a nude painting to display. His uniquely frank depiction of a self-assured prostitute was accepted by the Paris Salon in 1865, where it created a scandal. According to Antonin Proust, “only the precautions taken by the administration prevented the painting being punctured and torn” by offended viewers.[9] The painting was controversial partly because the nude is wearing some small items of clothing such as an orchid in her hair, a bracelet, a ribbon around her neck, and mule slippers, all of which accentuated her nakedness, sexuality, and comfortable courtesan lifestyle. The orchid, upswept hair, black cat, and bouquet of flowers were all recognized symbols of sexuality at the time. This modern Venus’ body is thin, counter to prevailing standards; the painting’s lack of idealism rankled viewers. The painting’s flatness, inspired by Japanese wood block art, serves to make the nude more human and less voluptuous. A fully dressed black servant is featured, exploiting the then-current theory that black people were hyper-sexed.[4] That she is wearing the clothing of a servant to a courtesan here furthers the sexual tension of the piece.

Olympia’s body as well as her gaze is unabashedly confrontational. She defiantly looks out as her servant offers flowers from one of her male suitors. Although her hand rests on her leg, hiding her pubic area, the reference to traditional female virtue is ironic; a notion of modesty is notoriously absent in this work. A contemporary critic denounced Olympia’s “shamelessly flexed” left hand, which seemed to him a mockery of the relaxed, shielding hand of Titian’s Venus.[10] Likewise, the alert black cat at the foot of the bed strikes a sexually rebellious note in contrast to that of the sleeping dog in Titian’s portrayal of the goddess in his Venus of Urbino.

Olympia was the subject of caricatures in the popular press, but was championed by the French avant-garde community, and the painting’s significance was appreciated by artists such as Gustave CourbetPaul CézanneClaude Monet, and later Paul Gauguin.

As with Luncheon on the Grass, the painting raised the issue of prostitution within contemporary France and the roles of women within society.[4]

Life and times[edit]

Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets, 1872

After the death of his father in 1862, Manet married Suzanne Leenhoff in 1863. Leenhoff was a Dutch-born piano teacher two years Manet’s senior with whom he had been romantically involved for approximately ten years. Leenhoff initially had been employed by Manet’s father, Auguste, to teach Manet and his younger brother piano. She also may have been Auguste’s mistress. In 1852, Leenhoff gave birth, out of wedlock, to a son, Leon Koella Leenhoff. Manet painted his wife in The Reading, among other paintings.

Eleven-year-old Leon Leenhoff, whose father may have been either of the Manets, posed often for Manet. Most famously, he is the subject of the Boy Carrying a Sword of 1861 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). He also appears as the boy carrying a tray in the background of The Balcony.[11]

He became friends with the Impressionists Edgar DegasClaude MonetPierre-Auguste RenoirAlfred SisleyPaul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro through another painter, Berthe Morisot, who was a member of the group and drew him into their activities. The supposed grand-niece of the painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Morisot had her first painting accepted in the Salon de Paris in 1864, and she continued to show in the salon for the next ten years.

Manet became the friend and colleague of Berthe Morisot in 1868. She is credited with convincing Manet to attempt plein air painting, which she had been practicing since she was introduced to it by another friend of hers, Camille Corot. They had a reciprocating relationship and Manet incorporated some of her techniques into his paintings. In 1874, she became his sister-in-law when she married his brother, Eugène.

Self-Portrait with Palette, 1879

One of Manet’s frequent models, at the beginning of the 1880s, was the “semimondaine” Méry Laurent, who frequently sat for various other Impressionists.

Unlike the core Impressionist group, Manet maintained that modern artists should seek to exhibit at the Paris Salon rather than abandon it in favor of independent exhibitions. Nevertheless, when Manet was excluded from the International Exhibition of 1867, he set up his own exhibition. His mother worried that he would waste all his inheritance on this project, which was enormously expensive. While the exhibition earned poor reviews from the major critics, it also provided his first contacts with several future Impressionist painters, including Degas.

Although his own work influenced and anticipated the Impressionist style, he resisted involvement in Impressionist exhibitions, partly because he did not wish to be seen as the representative of a group identity, and partly because he preferred to exhibit at the Salon. Eva Gonzalès, a daughter of the novelist Emmanuel Gonzalès, was his only formal student.

He was influenced by the Impressionists, especially Monet and Morisot. Their influence is seen in Manet’s use of lighter colors: after the early 1870s he made less use of dark backgrounds but retained his distinctive use of black, uncharacteristic of Impressionist painting. He painted many outdoor (plein air) pieces, but always returned to what he considered the serious work of the studio.

Manet enjoyed a close friendship with composer Emmanuel Chabrier, painting two portraits of him; the musician owned 14 of Manet’s paintings and dedicated his Impromptu to Manet’s wife.[12]

Throughout his life, although resisted by art critics, Manet could number as his champions Émile Zola, who supported him publicly in the press, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Charles Baudelaire, who challenged him to depict life as it was. Manet, in turn, drew or painted each of them.

Cafe scenes[edit]

The Cafe Concert, 1878. Scene set in the Cabaret de Reichshoffen on the Boulevard Rochechouart, where women on the fringes of society freely intermingled with well-heeled gentlemen.[13] The Walters Art Museum.

Manet’s paintings of café scenes are observations of social life in 19th-century Paris. People are depicted drinking beer, listening to music, flirting, reading, or waiting. Many of these paintings were based on sketches executed on the spot. He often visited the Brasserie Reichshoffen on boulevard de Rochechourt, upon which he based At the Cafe in 1878. Several people are at the bar, and one woman confronts the viewer while others wait to be served. Such depictions represent the painted journal of a flâneur. These are painted in a style which is loose, referencing Hals and Velázquez, yet they capture the mood and feeling of Parisian night life. They are painted snapshots of bohemianism, urban working people, as well as some of the bourgeoisie.

In Corner of a Cafe Concert, a man smokes while behind him a waitress serves drinks. In The Beer Drinkers a woman enjoys her beer in the company of a friend. In The Cafe Concert, shown at right, a sophisticated gentleman sits at a bar while a waitress stands resolutely in the background, sipping her drink. In The Waitress, a serving woman pauses for a moment behind a seated customer smoking a pipe, while a ballet dancer, with arms extended as she is about to turn, is on stage in the background.

Manet also sat at the restaurant on the Avenue de Clichy called Pere Lathuille’s, which had a garden in addition to the dining area. One of the paintings he produced here was Chez le père Lathuille (At Pere Lathuille’s), in which a man displays an unrequited interest in a woman dining near him.

In Le Bon Bock (1873), a large, cheerful, bearded man sits with a pipe in one hand and a glass of beer in the other, looking straight at the viewer.

Paintings of social activities[edit]

The Races at Longchamp, 1864

Manet painted the upper class enjoying more formal social activities. In Masked Ball at the Opera, Manet shows a lively crowd of people enjoying a party. Men stand with top hats and long black suits while talking to women with masks and costumes. He included portraits of his friends in this picture.

His 1868 painting The Luncheon was posed in the dining room of the Manet house.

Manet depicted other popular activities in his work. In The Races at Longchamp, an unusual perspective is employed to underscore the furious energy of racehorses as they rush toward the viewer. In Skating, Manet shows a well dressed woman in the foreground, while others skate behind her. Always there is the sense of active urban life continuing behind the subject, extending outside the frame of the canvas.

In View of the International Exhibition, soldiers relax, seated and standing, prosperous couples are talking. There is a gardener, a boy with a dog, a woman on horseback—in short, a sample of the classes and ages of the people of Paris.

War[edit]

The Execution of Emperor Maximilian, 1867. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The least finished of three large canvases devoted to the execution of Maximilian I of Mexico.

The Barricade (Civil War), 1871, ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper, Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest)

Manet’s response to modern life included works devoted to war, in subjects that may be seen as updated interpretations of the genre of “history painting”.[14] The first such work was the Battle of the Kearsarge and Alabama (1864), a sea skirmish known as the Battle of Cherbourg from the American Civil War which took place off the French coast, and may have been witnessed by the artist.[15]

Of interest next was the French intervention in Mexico; from 1867 to 1869 Manet painted three versions of the Execution of Emperor Maximilian, an event which raised concerns regarding French foreign and domestic policy.[16] The several versions of the Execution are among Manet’s largest paintings, which suggests that the theme was one which the painter regarded as most important. Its subject is the execution by Mexican firing squad of a Habsburg emperor who had been installed by Napoleon III. Neither the paintings nor a lithograph of the subject were permitted to be shown in France.[17] As an indictment of formalized slaughter the paintings look back to Goya,[18] and anticipate Picasso‘s Guernica.

In January 1871, Manet traveled to Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the Pyrenees. In his absence his friends added his name to the “Fédération des artistes” (see: Courbet) of the Paris Commune. Manet stayed away from Paris, perhaps, until after the semaine sanglante: in a letter to Berthe Morisot at Cherbourg (10 June 1871) he writes, “We came back to Paris a few days ago…” (the semaine sanglante ended on 28 May).

The prints and drawings collection of the Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest) has a watercolour/gouache by Manet, The Barricade, depicting a summary execution of Communards by Versailles troops based on a lithograph of the execution of Maximilian. A similar piece, The Barricade (oil on plywood), is held by a private collector.

On 18 March 1871, he wrote to his (confederate) friend Félix Bracquemond in Paris about his visit to Bordeaux, the provisory seat of the French National Assembly of the Third French Republic where Émile Zola introduced him to the sites: “I never imagined that France could be represented by such doddering old fools, not excepting that little twit Thiers…”[19] If this could be interpreted as support of the Commune, a following letter to Bracquemond (21 March 1871) expressed his idea more clearly: “Only party hacks and the ambitious, the Henrys of this world following on the heels of the Milliéres, the grotesque imitators of the Commune of 1793…” He knew the communard Lucien Henry to have been a former painter’s model and Millière, an insurance agent. “What an encouragement all these bloodthirsty caperings are for the arts! But there is at least one consolation in our misfortunes: that we’re not politicians and have no desire to be elected as deputies”.

The public figure Manet admired most was the republican Léon Gambetta.[20] In the heat of the seize mai coup in 1877, Manet opened up his atelier to a republican electoral meeting chaired by Gambetta’s friend Eugène Spuller.[20]

Paris[edit]

Manet depicted many scenes of the streets of Paris in his works. The Rue Mosnier Decked with Flags depicts red, white, and blue pennants covering buildings on either side of the street; another painting of the same title features a one-legged man walking with crutches. Again depicting the same street, but this time in a different context, is Rue Mosnier with Pavers, in which men repair the roadway while people and horses move past.

The Railway, 1873

The Railway, widely known as The Gare Saint-Lazare, was painted in 1873. The setting is the urban landscape of Paris in the late 19th century. Using his favorite model in his last painting of her, a fellow painter, Victorine Meurent, also the model for Olympia and the Luncheon on the Grass, sits before an iron fence holding a sleeping puppy and an open book in her lap. Next to her is a little girl with her back to the painter, watching a train pass beneath them.

Instead of choosing the traditional natural view as background for an outdoor scene, Manet opts for the iron grating which “boldly stretches across the canvas”[21] The only evidence of the train is its white cloud of steam. In the distance, modern apartment buildings are seen. This arrangement compresses the foreground into a narrow focus. The traditional convention of deep space is ignored.

Historian Isabelle Dervaux has described the reception this painting received when it was first exhibited at the official Paris Salon of 1874: “Visitors and critics found its subject baffling, its composition incoherent, and its execution sketchy. Caricaturists ridiculed Manet’s picture, in which only a few recognized the symbol of modernity that it has become today”.[22] The painting is currently in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.[23]

Manet painted several boating subjects in 1874. Boating, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, exemplifies in its conciseness the lessons Manet learned from Japanese prints, and the abrupt cropping by the frame of the boat and sail adds to the immediacy of the image.[24]

In 1875, a book-length French edition of Edgar Allan Poe‘s The Raven included lithographs by Manet and translation by Mallarmé.[25]

In 1881, with pressure from his friend Antonin Proust, the French government awarded Manet the Légion d’honneur.[26]

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Un Bar aux Folies-Bergère), 1882, Courtauld Gallery, London

Late works[edit]

In his mid-forties Manet’s health deteriorated, and he developed severe pain and partial paralysis in his legs. In 1879 he began receiving hydrotherapy treatments at a spa near Meudon intended to improve what he believed was a circulatory problem, but in reality he was suffering from locomotor ataxia, a known side-effect of syphilis.[27][28] In 1880, he painted a portrait there of the opera singer Émilie Ambre as Carmen. Ambre and her lover Gaston de Beauplan had an estate in Meudon and had organized the first exhibition of Manet’s The Execution of Emperor Maximilian in New York in December 1879.[29]

In his last years Manet painted many small-scale still lifes of fruits and vegetables, such as Bunch of Asparagus and The Lemon (both 1880).[30] He completed his last major work, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Un Bar aux Folies-Bergère), in 1882 and it hung in the Salon that year. Afterwards he limited himself to small formats. His last paintings were of flowers in glass vases.[31]

Death[edit]

In April 1883, his left foot was amputated because of gangrene, due to complications from syphilis and rheumatism. He died eleven days later on 30 April in Paris. He is buried in the Passy Cemetery in the city.[32]

Legacy[edit]

Manet’s public career lasted from 1861, the year of his first participation in the Salon, until his death in 1883. His known extant works, as catalogued in 1975 by Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein, comprise 430 oil paintings, 89 pastels, and more than 400 works on paper.[33]

The grave of Manet at Passy

Although harshly condemned by critics who decried its lack of conventional finish, Manet’s work had admirers from the beginning. One was Émile Zola, who wrote in 1867: “We are not accustomed to seeing such simple and direct translations of reality. Then, as I said, there is such a surprisingly elegant awkwardness … it is a truly charming experience to contemplate this luminous and serious painting which interprets nature with a gentle brutality.”[34]

The roughly painted style and photographic lighting in Manet’s paintings was seen as specifically modern, and as a challenge to the Renaissance works he copied or used as source material. He rejected the technique he had learned in the studio of Thomas Couture – in which a painting was constructed using successive layers of paint on a dark-toned ground – in favor of a direct, alla prima method using opaque paint on a light ground. Novel at the time, this method made possible the completion of a painting in a single sitting. It was adopted by the Impressionists, and became the prevalent method of painting in oils for generations that followed.[35] Manet’s work is considered “early modern”, partially because of the opaque flatness of his surfaces, the frequent sketchlike passages, and the black outlining of figures, all of which draw attention to the surface of the picture plane and the material quality of paint.

The art historian Beatrice Farwell says Manet “has been universally regarded as the Father of Modernism. With Courbet he was among the first to take serious risks with the public whose favour he sought, the first to make alla prima painting the standard technique for oil painting and one of the first to take liberties with Renaissance perspective and to offer ‘pure painting’ as a source of aesthetic pleasure. He was a pioneer, again with Courbet, in the rejection of humanistic and historical subject-matter, and shared with Degas the establishment of modern urban life as acceptable material for high art.”[35]

Art market[edit]

The late Manet painting, Le Printemps (1881), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum for $65.1 million, setting a new auction record for Manet, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $25–35 million at Christie’s on 5 November 2014.[36] The previous auction record was held by Self-Portrait With Palette which sold for $33.2 million at Sotheby’s on 22 June 2010.[37]

Gallery[edit]

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