|A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882|
At his father's suggestion, in 1848 he sailed on a training vessel to South America. After he twice failed to enter the Navy the elder Manet relented to his son's wishes to pursue an art education. From 1850 to 1856, Manet studied under Thomas Couture. In his spare time, Manet would make copies of the works of the masters in the Louvre.
From 1853 to 1856 he visited Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, during which time he absorbed the influences of the Dutch painter and spanish Painters.
|Chez Père Lathuille, 1879|
After the death of his father in 1862, Manet married Suzanne Leenhoff in 1863. Leenhoff was a Dutch-born piano teacher of Manet's age whom he had been romantically linked to for nearly ten years. Leenhoff initially had been employed by Manet's father, Auguste, to teach Manet and his younger brother piano. It is believed that she was also Auguste's mistress. In 1852, She gave birth, out of wedlock, to a son, Leon Koella Leenhoff.
Eleven-year-old Leon Leenhoff, whose father may have been either of the Manets, posed often for Manet. and is seen in " The Boy Carrying the Sword" painted in 1861 (Now Housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). He also appears as the boy carrying a tray in the background of The Balcony
|Young Flautist, or The Fifer,, 1866|
While his technique changed over time his love for his subject matter did not, he continued to paint with an eye to society as a whole and no one segment of it. He was as apt to paint a beggar in the street as he was a dandy at the opera.
He died at the age of fifty-one in Paris in 1883 of illness related to untreated syphillis, which he contracted in his forties. The disease caused him considerable pain and partial paralysis in the years prior to his death. He passed away 11 days after his foot was amputated due to gangrene.
Just a smidgen of Art History....