19th century French painter Edouard Manet is best known for The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia. His style evolved from realism to impressionism, and because of his renown, he is considered a pivotal artist in the transition from the two styles. He mostly depicted everyday scenes: people, city life, cafés, war, and Paris, his canvases populated by singers, beggars, gypsies, and more. Manet was born to a judge and a daughter of a diplomat; combined, their affluence and connections made them highly respectable in their community. Thusly, they wanted their son to choose a respectable career too, like law. But Manet was fascinated by painting, and although his parents disapproved, he pursued it. His uncle would arrange trips to the Louvre, where Manet would passionately copy works from old masters. He had a few years of formal art training before opening his own studio, where he would produce many of his famed works. By his mid-forties, Manet’s health deteriorated. His legs suffered partial paralysis from an extreme side effect of syphilis, which led to the amputation of his left leg and his death 11 days later. Manet left behind a noteworthy reputation and 430 paintings that are still sought after today.
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