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This is an illustrated exploration of the artist, his life and context, with a gallery of 300 of his greatest works. It is a lively but expert account of Edouard Manet, one of the greatest French artists, whose striking realism has led to him being called the first modern painter. It is a vivid biography explores his life and career, including his break with established institutions and his links with artistic pioneers such as Monet, Cezanne and Degas. It features an extensive gallery of all Manet's most important works, accompanied by an analysis of his aims, style and technique. It focuses on how Manet turned the focus of artistic interest back to real life and away from the conventions of academic art. It is superbly illustrated with 500 pictures covering his life and art, along with works by his main contemporaries, including Monet, Renoir and Gauguin. Born to a wealthy conservative family, Edouard Manet became one of art's greatest revolutionaries, hailed by the Impressionists as their 'king'. While such works as Olympia or Music in the Tuileries struck contemporaries as shockingly candid, he himself revered the Old Masters. Manet's was the first great painter of modern Paris, the artistic capital of the 19th century. The first half of the book details Manet's life and his role as leader of the Batignolles group that included Renoir, Cezanne and Degas. The second half is a wide-ranging gallery of his finest works. With a total of 500 illustrations, this book gives a superb overview of one of the world's greatest and most original artists.
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