Thursday, 6 November 2014

What's this Manet?


One of the many Blogs I visit from time to time is authored by Manny. I believe he is an engineer by profession, but I know full well that he is very well read. His posts cover many subjects, but he excels and surpasses himself when writing about literature. Try this post for example: CLICK HERE.

Not to be outdone, I thought I'd start a series of posts about art, to complement my already published series on history. (Click on the tab Giggles and Fun to read my history posts).

A few days ago I posted about Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco, (see, I can use arty words already), "The Creation of the Sun, Moon and Vegetation".

Today, we'll study Édouard Manet's "Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe", also known as "The Luncheon on the Grass".

The first thing I noticed when I studied this wonderful oil on canvas, (more arty talk), is that it can't have been much of a luncheon, (or déjeuner), since there's no sight of any French Fries or chocolate milkshake. What kind of picnic is this without French Fries? Manet missed a trick there, but never mind.

The third thing I noticed, (the second being the subtle use of colours and the masterful brush strokes).

... As I was saying, the third thing I noticed is that we have here a naked lady having a picnic with two fully dressed men, whilst another half naked woman is having a wash in the river in the background.

At first I thought that it must have been very hot that day and she needed to cool down, but then, on reflection, I started to worry about any ants or insects that may be in the "herbe" in the vicinity.

I also noticed that the two men are happily talking to each other and totally ignoring the naked lady beside them; very uncharacteristic of most men I know.

Intrigued by all this I researched the painting a little more. I was surprised to discover that Manet' wife Suzanne Leenhoff posed for the naked woman, although the face on the painting is that of another model. Stranger still, the men sitting beside her are Manet's brother Gustave, and his brother-in-law Ferdinand Leenhoff.

You can imagine the conversation as they prepared to sit for the painting.

"Hello sister, you've put on some weight lately."

"It's all them French Fries that does it. Gustave, where have you put the French fries?"

"Édouard ate them. The milkshake too!"

And there you have it friends. An expose of Manet's "Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe".

If there are any other artworks you would like me to research and critique, (another arty word), please let me know.

17 comments:

  1. After this interesting critique, I would LOVE to hear your impression of Mona Lisa and her smile or lack thereof---and perhaps WHAT WAS SHE THINKING!

    As always, Victor---thank you for the giggle!

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    1. Hi Lulu, I will definetly write about the Mona Lisa soon. Great song by Nat King Cole. Please call again to check it out.

      Glad I made you smile Lulu. God bless you.

      Delete
  2. Hi Victor! Okay. You found the painting that killed Freud. He looked at this and exclaimed "I rest my point" and keeled over.

    What a smirk on that naked babe, huh?
    Ceil

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    1. Hello Ceil,

      I did not know this painting had such an effect on Freud. More research on my part. I wondered too what she is smirking about. I hope she's not wincing because she's been bitten by an ant.

      God bless.

      Delete
  3. While reading your "Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe" I started thinking about my Charlie Major' French sin... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5qyzF_ncY8 ... and wondered whether he weathered her naked advances and/or was there even "ONE"... I also wondered if they were both on "Q" when she said with a French accent, show me the money, Monet!... "I" imagine that nothing really happened cause he had an angel looking over... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa8FYdBCkKU ... but did the angel wonder if The Grim Reaper was also anywhere around?... http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.ca/2014/11/matthew-monday-halloween-2014.html#comment-form

    I hear YA Victor #1 ... you imagine too much Victor but then again on second thought maybe I should also worry before you get me in trouble with the law and then we both END up having to defend ourself in court over some kind of Copy Law?... LOL :)

    Who's Laughing?

    God Bless



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Victor number 2. Here's some music for you. I think you would like this video from a fellow Canadian.
      https://www.youtube.com/embed/Wq0X0bwMprQ?feature=player_embedded

      Delete
  4. Now I thought the woman spilled ketchup all over her clothes and had to take them off...lol. Seriously, I've always been repulsed by that painting. I've never quite gotten it. Are the two men supposed to be painters and the woman a model, all taking a break? But I see nothing to suggest the two men are painters. Nonetheless the woman sitting casually naked without any sense of shame while the men are dressed seems so contrary to human modesty. That must of stirred quite a controversy back in the 19th century.

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  5. God Bless you Manny! I really liked the song... Long story short... I've simply only been waring my poppy and never wrote about Our Day to Remember and longer story shorter... I did say a Rosary again today... We both know that God will never forget them... Trust me when I say that I could writes stories all day and night long but it will still never bring them back home again so please don't get me started... I personally did write a poem for these soldiers in my last blog but God only knows where it is now?... The Holy Spirit knows what He's doing and that could be why He's slowing my blog down which I started here about two weeks ago http://undergovic.blogspot.ca/ ... truth be known, "I" hope God and His Angels don't ever let me get started again because "IT" "Honesty", "I" mean "IT" honestly might eventually take my life...

    One good turn deserves a tip of the hat so here's a song for our American cousins... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqHprJJlusg ...hope you like it as much as I liked the one you sent my way.

    God Bless

    ReplyDelete
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    1. To Manny and Victor:

      Yes, the painting was quite controversial when first seen by its public. But then, it is not the only painting by a great artist showing naked women with fully dressed men.

      This one I suppose shocked people because the characters are sitting so casually. Men, being men, were too busy discussing last night's football game rather than admiring the naked lady. That's the real controversy here.

      God bless.

      Delete
    2. "Men, being men,"

      Victor #1, Speaking of men being men, my old atheist engineer non committed friend Jeff Miller who I believe has been a devoted Catholic since at least 2000... anyway you can read what he's written about manly virtues on his site below

      http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/2014/11/manly-virtues-are-downplayed-even-shamed/

      God Bless

      Delete
  6. A closer look on the arts. I'm glad I've stumbled upon your blog here.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this post.

      God bless.

      Delete
  7. Chuckling at this post and comments that follow it. One word describes this particular painting: awkward. I mean, how would you feel naked at a picnic where everyone else is dressed?

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    1. Well ... ehmmm ... me naked at a picnic and a lot of women dressed? OK ... I am not going to answer this.

      Delete
  8. Did I say women? Nope, I don't see that written in my comment :)

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    1. I didn't know what you meant. When you said "how would YOU feel naked at a picnic," I thought you meant me.

      Delete

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