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Manet and the Execution of Maximilian - Essay Example

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Manet and the Execution of Maximilian

The essay "Manet and the Execution of Maximilian" explores Manet's works on the subject of execution of Maximilian. The works done before the period of Manet chiefly comprised of romantic paintings (apart from the realist works of Courbet) where the chief subject in the painting was romanticized and presented larger than life. It was more glamorous in its depiction. Manet does not seem to follow any of those in his experimentation of the five paintings out here as he is neither trying to portray an exaggerated version of the actual event nor is he dramatically using light and color (as is sometimes noticeable in the earlier romantic paintings). He does not add emotions to the painting and the soldiers along with the subjects seem to be emotionally indifferent. Even the subject of execution that he has chosen was not much popular in earlier times. The depiction of the execution was based on the information that he received in terms of sketches and texts from Mexico and as and when he had some new information, he would sit to paint it all again. That is how he ended up painting a set of five pictures. From the use of colors and the treatment of subject, it seems that he was attempting at a contemporary and modern painting that was discontinuous with the past practice. “Manet borrowed the compositional format of his painting The Execution of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico…. from a painting by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya, Third of May, 1808” and thus banking upon historical examples. ...Show more
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Summary

The essay analyzes Manet's works on the subject of execution of Maximilian. From 1867 to early 1869 Manet created these paintings out of which three were large paintings one was a lithograph. The paintings have been made to represent the event of killing of Maximilian…
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