Edouard Manet was born in Paris in January 1832 passing in April 1883 to a wealthy family. He 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. He was born into a household with strong political connections but he rejected the future originally envisioned for him, the study of law. (His father wanted him to have a naval career, but Manet failed the exam, twice.) He was engrossed in the world of painting. His early masterworks caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, one of his 1863 paintings, The Luncheon on the Grass (or Le déjeuner sur l’herbe), is considered to 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.
His uncle influenced his art career, taking him to the Louvre and enrolling him into the College Rollin, where he met the future French Minister of Fine Arts, his teacher and future friend–Antonin Proust.
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 contemporary subjects such as beggars, singers, Gypsies, people in cafés, and bullfights. After his early career, he rarely painted religious, mythological, or historical subjects. 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.”
This is a color lithograph made after the original in 1902. It is a scarce piece, and titled in English “Woman in a Tub. It is in a modest but well made gold frame measuring 16″ x 17″ and the image is 7.25″ x 10”. The signed original is in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.