I was oddly pleased to read yesterday that when Monet first came on the scene, Manet was annoyed that his name was so close.
It didn’t help any that Monet’s first exhibition of works at the Paris Salon, in 1865, was praised by critics, while Manet’s were panned. It must be cold comfort to Manet that Manet’s two reviled works are now considered to be masterpieces. Even colder comfort: everyone still gets their names confused.
I read about Manet’s reaction in Ross King’s excellent The Judgment of Paris about the rise of Impressionism. I’m greatly enjoying it: it’s impressively researched, well-told, and is teaching me a lot about the context within which Impressionism came to be.
And totally tangentially: I went looking for a picture of Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, one of the two Manet paintings at that Salon — the other was Olympia — and came across a post that confidently explains the “anomalies” in the painting.
The site Every Painter Paints Himself (I guess except for the lady painters) has a brief essay that suggests that the painting looks funny because the bather in the background is actually intended to be a painting in front of which the threesome is posing.
I’m marking this one Interested, But Not Convinced.