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Breakfast in the Studio

Painting, 1868, 118×153 cm

Description of the artwork «Breakfast in the Studio»

Picture "Breakfast in the Studio" was presented at the Paris Salon in 1869 together with a picture "Balcony". By the time Manet already has earned the reputation as an upstart who is trying to attract off any price. And this time he not left the critics without bread. Jules-Antoine Castagnary was indignant: "In "Breakfast," for example, I see on the table, served with coffee, half a peeled lemon and oysters, which should not be there. Why then are they there? I know why. Because Manet has a weakness to the color stains, because he copes admirably with the writing of still-lifes and tend to write them wherever possible. And just as Manet combines the subjects of still life, solely for the sake of visual pleasure, as well he has a haphazard and characters..." Another critic tried to satisfy his professional penchant for genre identification and to fit both pictures in the scenic tradition. Certainly, he had a system failure and did not remain anything else how witty joke: "Manet has created a portrait of the balcony and the portrait of the Breakfast".

Before Manet did not write. Still life is just a lemon and a vase, portrait of man, looking directly at the viewer, genre scene – people making something understandable together and gives the viewer a chance to determine what's really going on here. From Manet nothing is clear, moreover, that the yellow colour of lemon peel masterfully supports the yellow straw hats of the Central character.

The picture was painted in Boulogne-sur-Mer, on the shores of the English channel, where Manet rented a Villa for a family summer holiday. And for the main character of "Breakfast" he posed, Leon Leenhoff, a boy who was either the son or brother of Manet, which does not give sleep to art historians for over a hundred years. They say that Manet is not as simple as it seems. It was assumed that the two figures in the background of Manet by himself and his wife, Susanna, and that this family scene reveals the mystery of the birth of Leon. It was then established that the woman actually workers and Smoking male, whose shape is defiantly circumcised in the spirit of Japanese prints, artist's friend.

Art historian Ilya Doronchenkov talks about Manet as "brilliant optical apparatus" in connection with this pattern and rejects all attempts to discern in her the secret signs family mysteries: "In the painting "Breakfast in the Studio" – absolutely inconceivable for a Frenchman of his social level, the combination of red wine, coffee, oysters and lemon. The simple answer Mans first and foremost a painter. He is interested above all the mixture of colors and textures, and a logical pairing of objects and people matters".

Henri Matisse I saw the painting "Breakfast in the Studio" only once, in the gallery of brothers Bernheim, and wrote about it 35 years later. And Matisse, too, was primarily interested in color.

Author: Anna SidelnikaVA
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1868

Size: 118×153 cm

Artwork in selections: 35 selections