Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

What Edouard Manet and Saint Francis have in common?

Édouard Manet, Flowers in a Crystal Vase, ca. 1882, detail, National Gallery of Art

Impressionism

What Edouard Manet and Saint Francis have in common?

Edouard Manet once remarked: “I should like to be the Saint Francis of still life”. While the comparisons between Manet and Saint Francis may not be immediately obvious, in some ways, Manet did achieve his goal.

Both Manet and Saint Francis confronted their contemporaries with new ideas and approach to what they both dedicated their lives to. Saint Francis to religious life, and Manet to art.

Edouard Manet - Flowers in a Crystal Vase. c. 1882, in National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Manet and Saint Francis

Edouard Manet, Flowers in a Crystal Vase. c. 1882, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.


By founding an Order of Friars Minor, Saint Francis opposed the ideology of other orders of his time which aimed to accumulate power and wealth. In a similar break with orthodoxy, Manet introduced “pure colour”, a collection of dashes of colour, in opposition to classical paintings of the time with their flowing tones.

Edouard_Manet_Vase of Peonies on Pedestal. 1864. in Musee d’Ordsay, Paris

Edouard Manet, Vase of Peonies on Pedestal, 1864, Musee d’Orsay, Paris

Both loved life and nature and managed to express this love through the smallest and simplest things. Saint Francis was known to give sermons to birds, fish and flowers. Manet believed that “a painter can say anything he likes with fruit, flowers or even clouds”. At the end of his life, when advanced disease prevented him from painting large canvases, he created his the most beautiful still natures. He painted bouquets brought by his friends, or sometimes even single, common objects such as lemon or bunch of asparagus.

Edouard_Manet_Bunch_of_Asparagus 1880, In Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne Manet and Saint Francis

Edouard Manet, Bunch of Asparagus 1880, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne


One of the bouquets created in that period stands out from the others – Carnations and Clematis, 1882. In its simplicity and modesty, it is the sweetest and most charming of Manet’s paintings.

Edouard Manet, Carnations and Clematis, 1882, in Musee d'Orsay, Paris Manet and Saint Francis

Edouard Manet, Carnations and Clematis, 1882, Musee d’Orsay, Paris

What Manet and Saint Francis have the most in common is, that both were remarkable people, who were ahead of their times and made an undoubtful mark on the history of western culture.

Find out more:


 

Comments

More in Impressionism

  • Impressionism

    Painting of the Week: Claude Monet, Meules

    By

    Claude Monet, the master of Impressionism, loved to paint in series. The one with haystacks (in French called meules) is his most known one, as well the first he exhibited. Fifteen of the paintings, presenting the haystacks in different times of the day, as well in...

  • 19th Century

    Last Days of Summer in Art

    By

    The end of summer is approaching and these last days of sunshine create a kind of melancholy feeling. You probably like to look back on the past few weeks. The summer is a period in which we may feel a little happier than during the rest...

  • Peonies (detail) by Matilda Browne Peonies (detail) by Matilda Browne

    Impressionism

    Matilda Browne, a Forgotten Female Impressionist

    By

    Matilda Browne (1869-1947) was a successful artist in the early 20th century, but unfortunately, few people know her name or her art today. Matilda Browne showed promising artistic talent early in her life. Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, she got an introduction to art by...

  • Ocean Breezes (detail) by Edward Henry Potthast Ocean Breezes (detail) by Edward Henry Potthast

    Impressionism

    Painting of the Week: Edward Henry Potthast, Ocean Breezes

    By

    This week’s Painting of the Week is Ocean Breezes by Edward Henry Potthast. It’s a wonderfully vivid work, showing two girls and their mother caught up in the breeze at the beach. Standing in front of it, I could almost feel the strong ocean breeze, since...

  • Florence Griswold Florence Griswold

    Impressionism

    Florence Griswold – “Patron Saint” of American Impressionism

    By

    Florence Griswold wasn’t an artist or even an art collector, but she was a key figure in American Impressionism. The New York Times even called her the movement’s “Patron Saint”. Florence Griswold (1850-1937) came from an upper-class but financially-unstable family in Old Lyme, Connecticut. By the...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy