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Spring by Édouard Manet

Spring by Édouard Manet

Spring by Édouard Manet

Spring by Édouard Manet depicts the Parisian actress Jeanne DeMarsy in a floral dress with parasol and bonnet against a background of lush foliage and blue sky, as the embodiment of Spring. She is portrayed poised and looking straight ahead, a picture of detachment even though she seems fully aware of our gaze. This painting was the first of a planned quartet of allegorical works using chic Parisian women to depict the four seasons. The idea was to produce a series of seasons personified by contemporary ideals of women, fashion and beauty. The series was never finished, and Manet died a year after completing only the second of the series, Autumn.

This painting was debuted at the Paris Salon of 1882 and was considered the most celebrated and last public success of Manet’s Salon career. For many years, Manet’s paintings had been rejected by the Salon, unfortunately, after this success his career that ended tragically a year later when Manet died. The painting exhibits Manet’s full range of brushwork, from the delicate floral touches on the dress to the subtlety of Jeanne’s face and the sketch-like strokes of the background. Much later, this painting became the first work of art ever to be published in color.

The French actress wears camel-colored gloves, a floral dress with a ruffled bonnet tied around the neck with a black bow, and a lace parasol. Manet, himself organized the ensemble by exploring dressmakers’ and milliners’ shops. It is sad that Manet died at 51 years old and did not complete the series.

Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life and was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. His early masterpieces, about 20 years earlier than this painting, caused much controversy and served as an influence for the young painters who would create Impressionism. In the last two decades of Manet’s life, he develops his style that served as a significant influence on future painters.

Reflections

  • Does she have a secret?
  • Why was this painting the first work of art ever to be published in color?

Spring

  • Title:                    Spring
  • Français:              Le Printemps
  • Artist:                  Édouard Manet
  • Medium:              Oil on canvas
  • Date:                    1881
  • Dimensions:         Height: 74 cm (29.1 ″); Width: 51.5 cm (20.2 ″)
  • Museum:              Getty Museum

Édouard Manet

Explore the Getty Museum

Édouard Manet Quotes

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“There are no lines in nature, only areas of color, one against another.”

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“If I’m lucky, when I paint, first my patrons leave the room, then my dealers, and if I’m really lucky I leave too. ”

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“One must be of one’s time and paint what one sees.”

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“I paint what I see and not what others like to see.”

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“It is not enough to know your craft – you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us, imagination is worth far more.”

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“I would kiss you, had I the courage.”

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“There are no lines in nature, only areas of color, one against another. ”

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“There is only one true thing: instantly paint what you see. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you haven’t, you begin again. All the rest is humbug.”

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“The country only has charms for those not obliged to stay there.”

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“I am influenced by everybody. But every time I put my hands in my pockets, I find someone else’s fingers there.”

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“One does not paint a landscape, a seascape, a figure. One paints an impression of an hour of the day.”

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“No one can be a painter unless he cares for painting above all else.”‘

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“Color is a matter of taste and of sensitivity.” 
– Édouard Manet

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Photo Credit: Édouard Manet [Public domain]

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