Manet inventeur du moderne
Directed by Stéphane Guégan
The Manet exhibition is already announced as the most visited this spring. An immersion into its catalogue may be a worthy substitute to the overcrowded rooms of the Orsay museum. More than a “catalogue raisonné” (the notes do not really satisfy our curiosity, since a walk through works are always similar to reading a murder story), the book is presented as a group of essays that question the facts established on Manet. The still lives are only a small part, since Manet is not really an impressionist artist and his political dimension has been too rapidly dealt with. The catalogue’s style is rather brilliant and the whole unexpected – with an interview in which Philippe Sollers explains that during the Paris Commmune (in 1871) Manet ate «cats, rats, and horse meat like everybody else», an analysis of the first purchases by art dealer Durand-Ruel in 1872-73 by his descendants Paul-Louis and Flavie and even an excerpt of the painter’s accounts presenting his annual revenue. 1872 was a great year, when he earned 40 000 francs, also four times more than Monet!
Review published in the newsletter #212 - from 14 April 2011 to 20 April 2011