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I place and a new sensation in the art world – the most expensive painting on the planet: Leonardo da Vinci. Savior of the world. Circa 1500 Christie's, new York,…

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Work on completing the section of Italian painting has intensified significantly since the late 1960s. The author of these lines, having begun at that time his professional career as the…

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The history of the collection (part 4)
Work on completing the section of Italian painting has intensified significantly since the late 1960s. The author of these lines, having begun at that time his professional career as the…

Continue reading →

Portrait strokes: map of flaneur Edouard Manet

According to the rules of strolling it is important to walk slowly and aimlessly, to mix with the crowd, but remain separate from it, apart. For a creative person, whether a writer or an artist, strolling is an invaluable experience of studying people, types, movements and external manifestations of characters. A black top hat, thin gloves, a cane, a slow gait and an inscrutable face — Edouard Manet was a real flaneur. Skating rinks, Opera, wide boulevards, Hippodrome, dances, tours of Spanish dancers, new stations and squares, world exhibitions-Paris of Manet times was an ideal city for strolling and for the birth of new, modern art.

Paris – Tuileries garden
Edouard Manet changed apartments several times and workshops many times. He never worked at home — and preferred to rent a Studio separately. But always, always it was the houses and streets of the quarter of Batignolles, or places nearby. Only in 1860 did Napoleon III make the village of Batignolles part of Paris — and the first workshop in the area Manet removed in the same year. Here lived the petty bourgeois and civil servants — still a quiet bourgeois area away from the noise and splendor of the rapidly rebuilding city center.

Manet rents a Studio in the Rue Guyot, inexpensive, modest and cramped, next to the apartments of actors, impoverished artists and obscure poets — and works every day until the window begins to darken. But in the evening, be sure to go for a walk-closer to the light of the boulevards and the noise of the famous artistic cafes: “Tortoni” or “Gerbois”. At dinner he is joined by friends, poets and young artists who argue about the fate of art, dream of writing in a new way, to write life itself. Over time, the owner of the cafe” Tortoni ” will reserve for Bohemian regulars two separate marble tables that await them every evening. And in the artistic environment, this group will be called “batignol school”.
Henri Fantin-Latour. An Atelier in the Batignolles
An Atelier in the Batignolles
Henri Fantin-Latour
1870, 204 x 273.5 cm
And on Fridays you can walk far away-to the Tuileries gardens, where in the evening the aristocrats gather to listen to music, where a crowd of ladies and men sit on chairs waiting for the concert, where they flaunt fashionable clothes, meet old friends, gossip, flirt, exchange the latest news.

Here, in the Tuileries, Edouard Manet writes the first picture in which with the audacity of a spontaneous revolutionary already destroys the rules of academic painting. Fleeting flaneur glance thrown at the crowd, Manet reconstructs several effects: if in classical painting close to the viewer objects were clearly marked, and going into the distance this clarity gradually lost, in this picture the laws of perspective no longer work. Only the eyes of the artist-flaneur work. He is free to focus on any object-and everything else out of focus to withdraw. And at this moment his eyes were fixed on several figures: a man in a top hat, a woman in a blue hat, and therefore the children in the foreground are not so important, are indicated by a few strokes, and in the very center there may be an illegible lump of someone’s clothes, veils and faces.
Edouard Manet. Music in the Tuileries garden
Music in the Tuileries garden
Edouard Manet
1862, 76×118 cm
Wait, that’s not all Sass. The artist himself had long since mingled with the crowd — here he is, the extreme figure on the left. Do you know where you are, the viewer, right now, looking at a picture of Manet, following his relaxed gaze thrown into the crowd? Exactly. Among the musicians of the orchestra. So I should probably start playing, the audience is waiting.
Edouard Manet. Horse race in Longchamp
Horse race in Longchamp
Edouard Manet
1864, 44×84 cm
Longchamp Racecourse
Longchamp Racecourse opened in Paris in 1857, the opening was attended by Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie. Napoleon really wanted Paris to become as beautiful, sparkling, modern and chic as London. To the Opera house was grandiose (it was built in Paris for 15 years), to parks, wide boulevards, shop Windows and horse racing, but the barricades to build it was more difficult.
Edouard Manet. Women at the races
Of course, horse racing becomes the most fashionable entertainment of aristocrats, not worse than concerts and yachting. Crowds of French people gathered here on weekends to walk new outfits, to gawk at celebrities and purveyors of gossip, and young non — poor artists like Manet and Degas-in search of new subjects.

At Longchamp Racecourse, by the way, arranged not only races, but also other events that would not accommodate any city hall or theater. Any Paris concert hall would collapse from the influx of spectators, if there were artists of the Madrid Royal theater-all Spanish in Vogue. Because the tour takes place on the stage of the racetrack. Spanish dancers brought to Paris the play “flower of Seville” – and Manet agrees that the leading artists posed for him, and even asks one of his friends to use the Studio more spacious and closer to the city center. To invite star Spanish dancers to the outskirts of Paris, to Batignolles, to a dark, cramped Studio, is embarrassing for him.
Edouard Manet. Portrait of Lola de Valonsadero Manet. Dancer Mariano Camprubi
Edouard Manet. Portrait of Lola de valence
Edouard Manet. Dancer Mariano Camprubi
In a few weeks, Manet writes “Lola of Valencia”, “Portrait of Mariano Camprubi”and” Spanish ballet”. And a few more years after will be sick Spaniards, dress up models in costumes of Maho and toredor, write bullfighting and rethink Goya.
Ice rink
After the Franco-Prussian war and the blockade, after losses and disgrace, Paris returned to peaceful life and was ready to have fun again: any fashionable pastime reached the scale of universal mania, led to fights in a souvenir shop or to a crush in public places. In the 1870s, the first ice rinks appeared in Paris — as many as five. And the skating mania engulfs the Parisians with irresistible force.

The skating rink in Paris in the 1870s is not just a water-drenched square, but an exquisite place to relax: electric lighting (a rarity), grandiose orchestras and even reading rooms. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the famous skating rink in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore is accessible only by personal passes issued by a Committee specially created for this purpose. Tuesdays and Saturdays are given over to the skating Club, where all the color of pre-existing aristocratic fashionable clubs, such as the jockey club, is selected. It is only on Thursdays and Sundays that no special permits or passes are required, but in order to maintain a noble atmosphere, unaccompanied young ladies are not allowed.
Edouard Manet. Skating
The journalist of the newspaper “La Vie Flamande Illustrée” ironically described the visitors of the Parisian capital skating rinks: 1% are here for sports, 4% – for meditation, 15% follow fashion, 25% accompany someone, and 55% are looking for adventure!

Edouard Manet in 1877 lives on Amsterdam street — and the nearest ice rink, according to modern google maps, is only a 7-minute walk away. For the flaneur 15 minutes: slowly from outside Amsterdam to roll on the Boulevard des Batignolles, then to Boulevard de Clichy. To walk only two blocks-and watch the Parisians frolic on the ice from the crowd.

St. Petersburg street-Monier street-Gare Saint-Lazare
In the mid-1860s, Manet moved to live on the street St. Petersburg, and in 1871 and removes the Studio on the same street. You have to understand what kind of place it was. St. Petersburg street is one of the 6 wide streets that diverge from the massive metal bridge of Europe, the One that was painted a few years later by Gustave Caillebotte. This place is not so far from Batignolles, but it has a very different spirit. It is a symbol of triumphant industrialization, engineering genius, inexorably rushing forward life, frightening and intoxicating changes. Under the bridge of Europe are railway tracks – here is the station of Saint-Lazare. Yes, the one that 6 years later will write Claude Monet.
Gustave Caillebotte. Bridge EuropaCat Monet. Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris, the arrival of the train
Gustave Caillebotte. The Bridge Of Europe. One thousand eight hundred seventy six
Claude Monet. Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris. One thousand eight hundred seventy seven
Edouard Manet does not just work somewhere on the St. Petersburg street-he works at the very beginning, near the station, next to the bridge. His Studio is located in the former fencing hall, bright and spacious. Some friends who came to visit the artist, recalled that in the Studio Manet shook the floor from passing trains, and vases with flowers, dishes and Windows constantly rang. Now he is in the heart of city life with its noise, flashing faces, roadworks, holiday flags. What can I say — for the painting “the Railway” Quiz Meran posing just in the backyard Manet. Beyond the fence, thick steam billows from the chimney of the departing train. He is just like Balzac, who once took a chair on The Italian Boulevard and for several hours watched the types of passers-by and described them later in the book “the Theory of gait.” Only enough mana to move the chair to the window.
Edouard Manet. Railway
Railway
Edouard Manet
1873, 93×114 cm
Not that before Manet walked only on artistic cafes and wrote only entertaining nobility. For example, for the painting “the Old musician” many years ago, he was looking for models in the poorest, dirty and dangerous neighborhoods of Paris. But now he does not have to go far: beggars, cripples, prostitutes, aristocrats, governesses with babies, hurrying employees and dusty workers cross the bridge of Europe and disperse through the adjoining streets on their business. Life itself, modernity itself.

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