The Spanish singer, Manet

The Spanish singer, Manet
The Spanish singer, Manet

The artistic ability of some painters means that instead of paintings their canvases are true photographs capable of capturing reality down to the last detail, in this way the work that we analyze here is more than a canvas, a photograph in which we can recreate with each of its wonderful details. Eduard Manet (1832 – 1883) is one of the most recognized artists of the 19th century and for many he was considered the father of the Impressionist movement, although, truly, the artist was never part of the Impressionist trend.


At the end of the fifties the artist had presented at the Official Salon of Paris -the most important academic painting institution of his time- the canvas titled The Absinthe Drinker, a work from 1858 that did not reach the favor of the jury and was rejected. A few years later, in 1861, the artist returned to the Paris Salon, but on this occasion, the pictorial genius preferred to bet on a theme that was very fashionable in France at the time, the Spanish world.

Manet presented a piece en titled The Spanish Singer, an oil on canvas measuring about four hundred and forty-five centimeters high and about one hundred and thirteen centimeters wide; at that time Paris was the capital of the pictorial world and yet, I found the neighboring country extremely interesting, with a mixture of exoticism and completely genuine.

Manet depicted the young singer sitting on a blue wooden bench while playing the guitar and singing. He appears dressed in the typical majo jacket and esparto shoes that are already worn out from use. The realistic and almost photographic nature of the composition means that Manet's work is close to of Courbet's canvases but it is also true that in the piece we find the influence of the authors of the Spanish Golden Age such as Velázquez or Zurbarán that Manet knew thanks to the exhibitions at the Louvre Museum.

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