Edouard Manet was born on January 23, 1832 in Paris. He is often identified with the "Impressionists," and was influenced by them. However, because of the Paris art world's generally hostile regard for Impressionism, he chose not to exhibit with them. He preferred to show his work in the more conservative exhibitions sponsored by the French government.
Manet learned to paint in the traditional style, but his work became more spontaneous after his exposure to Claude Monet and the other "Impressionists." He used expressive outline, severe lighting contrasts, bold color and rich texture to portray the world around him.
Manet scandalized the people of Paris with a number of works containing nudes painted in bold poses with direct, outward gazes. While it was popular during his time to paint scenes from the Bible and ancient history, Manet painted scenes from 19th Century history, including one work featuring the execution of Emperor Maximillian of Mexico in 1867.
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