Monday, January 31

A Lecture on Manet


Quite unexpectedly, which can be the best way sometimes I think, I attended a lecture on Edouard Manet last Saturday.

I had not the slightest intention of doing that, but about 11:00 a.m. I happened to be on Twitter and saw a tweet from MFAH (Museum of Fine Arts Houston). MFAH is one of the Twitter accounts that I follow. The brief tweet—of course, they’re all brief—was promoting a lecture at the museum that afternoon.

It being a winter day, I thought, why not?

The lecture was one of a series on Impressionism. As you may know, I’m always up for learning more about Impressionism and the Impressionists. This was the third in a series of eight or so, which runs through March at the MFAH. The lectures are timely since the museum will host an Impressionism exhibit from February to May with many famous paintings of Impressionists from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The lecturer was Dr. Nancy Locke, an art professor at Pennsylvania State University, and not surprisingly from her introduction, an expert and scholar on Manet. The title of the lecture was “Manet’s Figures of Modernity.”

The lecture focused on Manet’s work in the 1860s and 1870s including his famous paintings, Lejeuner sur l’herbe and Olympia, both which shocked the Salon establishment at the time. The talk discussed how Manet adapted to the modernism of the time in Paris, among other things, including Manet’s ubiquitous model for many of his paintings, Victorine Meurent, and his family, wife Eugenie and sons.

I learned Manet never exhibited with the Impressionists, but he was discussed in context with Fantin-LaTour, Monet, Berthe Morisot among other painters of the era.

It was very informative and an unexpected and enjoyable way to spend a winter weekend afternoon. My compliments to Twitter and MFAH. Artists should take advantage of any and all educational opportunities offered at local art museums, galleries, and such.

Happy Painting.

Until next blog…

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