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Edouard Manet’s painting, Game of Croquet, illustrates the classic French era of the 19th century showcasing everyday life. Manet uses the impressionist technique intertwined with powerful colours to paint the oil on canvas piece.
The painting depicts the fun, carefree game of croquet, offering a glimpse into the life at the time. However, although the photo seems to be a snapshot into the life of the four people, they were strategically placed and posed for the painting. The models included Manet’s colleague Alfred Stevens, his friend Paul Roudier, model Alice Lecouve, and model Victorine Meuren in 1873. The painting, Game of Croquet, manifests the classic French pastime, as the four individuals play amongst each other. As the painting is staged, the viewer is able to witness how the individuals are strategically placed. One of the models is dresses is a long white dress, belted at the waist. She wears a blue structured hat that flows down her back as she hits the ball. The woman opposed to her stands and stares, as she is dresses in a thick navy blue dress.
She is accessorized with a small black hat and a cane, which she leans upon. Both women partake in the activity, however are clothed in immensely thick attire, allowing the viewer to question how they are able to play the game of croquet. The man sitting on the floor next to the woman dress in navy blue follows her gaze, as he looks at the women in white playing croquet. He is dressed in a classic white dress shirt with dress pants, accompanied by a white and black hat. Finally in the background, seems to be another male, dresses in a light yellow jacket, accompanied by white dress pants. The man seems to be studying the course on his own and planning his next hit.
The piece illustrates an array of history as it hints to different economic, political and social ideas. Art critics argue that perhaps the piece promotes gender equality through the carefree game between men and woman. The emotion felt through Game of Croquet gleams happiness and ease as the 4 individuals enjoy the activity. There seems to be a carefree allure to the piece, as the man sits on the grass and the background showcases the beauty of nature. The colours used within the piece are an array of shades of green, mixed with greys and blues. The lush array of greenery within the piece illustrates Manet’s progression into impressionism, as the background gently merges together.