Manet optimistically entered the Absinthe Drinker to the Salon committee for consideration. Perhaps they’d have a sneaking regard for the modern way in which he had left unblended sections of colour that made to stark contrast between light and shade.
Could it be possible, that they might admire his courage when removing fine detail in order to create a sense of atmosphere and coherent design.
Surely they’d appreciate his unsentimental treatment of the subject and his method of painting which was looser and bolder than the norm.
Maybe, Manet thought, the Academy would like his innovative picture….. they did not!!
It was dismissed with disdain. Manet was deeply upset by the Academy’s rejection, but he wasn’t about to buckle under their dogma.
He continued to pursue his own course, and submitted further paintings for their consideration. In 1863, he put forward his painting, Le Dejeuner sur L’herbe, which was brimming with art historical references of which the academy was bound to approve.
The subject matter and composition derived from an engraving made by Marcantonio Raimondi, who was born in 1480, based on a drawing by Raphael, who was born in 1483 called the Judgement of Paris, a subject the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens also painted.
Much thanks to Will Gompertz’s book What Are You Looking At….some of the blog is directly taken from this fantastic book.