Argenteuil Edouard Manet Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Edouard Manet painting, Argenteuil showcases the different forms of impressionism the artist used, conceiving the painting in 1874.

The contemporary piece offers a glimpse into the time era of the painting, showcasing the culture of the relationship between men and women. The painting is vertically structured, offering a flat rendition of the scenery. The piece was a significant cornerstone in the style of Manet, progressing from painting nude woman within his studio, to open concept paintings outside in nature. The woman muse within the painting is unknown, however the man is said to be either Manet’s brother in law and painter Rodolphe Leenhoff, or Manet’s friend Baron Barbier.

The piece illustrates a beautiful woman clothed in a blue and grey striped dress, with a classic colour around the neck and extra ruffles near the bottom of the dress. The woman’s dress holds a few shades of brown for extra detail. The muse holds a bouquet of flowers, up raising the question for the viewer of whether the man had bought her flowers. The woman accessories with a luxurious black and white hat, as the lighter part ruffles into a flower. The man besides her in dresses in a more modern attire, suggesting he is a fisherman. The man wears a white and brown-stripped shirt, rolled on the sleeves showcasing his arms. Accompanied by light nude pants and a yellow hat accented with a bright red bow.

The man within the painting, Argenteuil, stares directly at the woman, whom stares at the viewer. The man is sits crossed legged, and seems to be trying to give the woman something. Manet had strategically painted their attire to complement each other, as the woman wears vertical stripes, whereas the man is dressed in horizontal stripes. The shift in texture adds more depth into the painting, while creating a connection between the two individuals. The setting of the muse seems to be at a boating dock, as the man and woman sit at the port. In the background, the water flows in deep shades of blue until the land, where a small village is placed.

It could be argued that the couple are seated within a boat out in the water, however brings into question the close proximity of other boats. The painting showcases a welcoming allure, as Manet incorporates bright colours the accentuate the couple within the painting. The pairing of the hats, and stripped attire add a relationship between the man and the woman, however through their body language, the viewer is able to witness a discomfort located between the two.