Edouard Manet (1832-1883) is a complicated painter, the first modern painter who depicted everyday scenes of people and city life. He was a leading artist in the transition from realism to impressionism.
Manet poses his subjects like manikins or objects in a stop motion film. Everything seems done with precision and there always seems to be an ulterior motive. No wonder he caused such controversies during his lifetime.
One of his achievements was transitioning a mythological realism with painting, into a transition to the modern world, painting normal human beings as a subject to be painted and with an impressionist outlook, before impressionism became what the public wanted to see.
In this simple (for him) painting a young couple are enjoying a romantic stroll along a boulevard under a moonlit sky. Two other well known painters of the boulevard, Jean Beraud and Luigi Loir captured lighthearted or romantic flashes of people having such a stroll, women having petticoats lifted by the wind coming across the river, or stepping into a cab while looking back to the viewer, but not Manet. Here they are rooted, posed and walking eternally across our gaze. This is not an ephemeral but a timeless moment. And plenty of room for me if I wanted a walk and look about, in this place.
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Unframed and Matted: 12" x 15 1/2" Image: 7 1/2" x 9 1/2"