Manet and Modern Beauty at Getty Museum


Hello, this is David peacock I am returning to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles for the mayonnaise if it called mayonnaise and modern beauty now Manny exhibits are rare when I hear there’s a Manet exhibit I jump I make plans. I saw this on the second day. They don’t happen often most of his paintings are in great museums and the ones in private collections don’t come out very often but the Getty Museum is one of the top museums in the world and they have the clout and the resources and the leverage to to organize and display the best quality paintings in the world The exhibit opens with a portrait by Manet’s contemporary his professional friend Henri Fantin Latour Fantin Latour painted this painting the way you’re taught in the academies in France how to paint The background is brown. It’s basically a very brown and black painting there’s a little bit of blue in the tie but it does show that Manet’s levels in society, he was at the top levels of society. His father was a judge and it was a conservative family So when he went into painting it was pretty much a shock to his family I want to focus here on the hands The left hand has a glove the right hand does not going to be following some other gloves and Manet’s paintings Now the first painting we’re going to talk about is this portrait of Jeanne? This was shown in the salon of 1882 in France. And it’s Manet at his best It’s a great composition. You can see the umbrella on her shoulder and her arm is a v-shape and it kind of makes a triangle In the composition her face is very pleasantly done and she’s a very attractive woman with a her beautiful dress she’s wearing the background is developed and I thought I’d show a photograph of Jeanne and put it together with the pain kind of show This does look like her doesn’t exactly look like her there’s slight differences he enhanced the lips It just goes to show how if ManetT paints you he’s gonna make you look better Manet made his subjects look interesting Just to return to her elbow here. I kind of go concentrated on her elbow because he did such an amazing job on this arm. It’s so realistic I can feel it but he had a lot of paint built up there on the dark blue where her dress was pushed up and it just makes it more convincing the body and head fit together very well Now we’re gonna move on to another portrait of a woman and see that this is not quite as great as the other one and I pointed out the Umbrella on her shoulder and a bent arm. That was really well done This one her body kind of is hidden there and because she’s wearing dark clothes So I’m criticizing Manet here and I want to make a point about how I look at paintings. I’m sharing my individual thoughts about Manet’s paintings. I don’t work for the Getty. I don’t have a PhD I don’t speak with an institutional voice I speak with my individual voice then we move on to another painting which is a cafe scene which has been reproduced many times and you see the waitresses looking directly at the viewer and there’s something about the way Manet’s has his people look out at the viewer. That’s so realistic, even though you know it’s a painting you feel a connection to that person in the painting, but this one’s amazing I like the worker guy smoking there and Often times when I look at Manet if you look at it for a while you were rewarded with something you didn’t see the first time you looked at it. And in this case, I see the half portrait of the singer on the stage So here we are with one of the most famous paintings that we see reproduced all the time and as I go to museums and look at the plates a lot in books. Sometimes I see these paintings that are famous and I’ve seen the images so often in books like I come to kind of discount them but when I saw this the blue of it is absolutely amazing of the The water and I spent some time when I was making this film I spent some time doing color correction trying to do it right it’s difficult because Manet has the cold blues and then he has the warm flesh. And so you have to balance that either it comes out too cold or too warm And I did spend some time to try to get that as accurate as I could. I think it looks pretty good to me But I don’t know what your monitors like this man is just has such presence in this boat He’s holding the tiller now one of the things that you notice is that the woman is not quite as well done as the man and I think what happened there was that Manet was a very improvisational painter and it to me and this is backed up by some of the notes in the book He put in the woman later on, you know, he had the guy there he looks so amazing, but he needed something else So he put the woman there But the one of the tell tale signs that she was put in later is there’s no real connection between her and him in Manet painting the connections between the viewer and the connections between the people in the painting is often extraordinary and really well felt so that was a clue to me that that they weren’t really connected That I thought he did that later sometimes when I see a painting like this with such majesty one of the most beautiful things in the entire planet I think who am I to criticize Manet? This is a pastel portrait, and I wanted to get your attention toward the hat Manet was a very sensitive to women’s fashions and he Seemed to like the hats the clothes the makeup the hairstyles He took such joy in looking at women Here’s another cafe scene. You’ve got the look to the background. You see a singer on the stage Then you see the waitress drinking her beer, and then that the man and the woman at the counter But they’re all kind of connected and you do feel a sense of place and the community of these people And I thought I’d do editing experiment here and put the two cafe scenes together to create enlarge the scene Now we move on to Manet’s wife Suzanne and if you want to get into some more depth about his relationships with women there is lots of material out there, but I’ll leave it up to you to explore that subject And here’s a little doggie. I’m sure this will please many of the viewers a few weeks ago I was bitten in the ankle by one of these monsters. So this painting frightened me Now we move on to another portrait of a woman Now here Manet just painting this woman it’s a very simple portrait and he doesn’t have his superpowers where he’s creating a super image like the boating image. This is just him, you know practicing It’s a loose oil painting, but it’s still formidable Then we move on to a woman bathing a couple things about this one The composition is memorable and it he’s almost creating a symbol to me He’s got his superpower compositional all abilities going here another thing that I thought of is there’s the quote by Degas where he says “when I did the ballet dancer’s MANET copied me.” Well, here’s an example of a woman bathing and I believe it was done before Degas did women bathing and in in my mind Degas copied Manet. I Want to point out the way he did the pastel here. He’s very fast little with his chalk and on the bottom of the tub You can see he turned it sideways to do a wide swab to cover the side of the tub Now next we’re going to move on to The image of a woman dressed as the opera singer Carmen now This is a salon painting So we spent a lot more time getting the details and the finish and making it look perfect because this is going to be seen by the thousands of people who visit the salon One thing I want to point out is the colors are really nice in the original that I’m the scene at the Getty but when I go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art who owns this painting. This is the image that get down from the internet it’s all dark and dowdy, so I tried to bump it up a little bit in Photoshop and it gets a little better But it’s not the colors aren’t working very well But I’m just really disappointed and some of these big museums who hold these paintings and that is a did a terrible job on that image You just have to be kind of a beginner intermediate in Photoshop to make something look better I’m really shocked that they didn’t make that effort Now we’re moving on to a notable portrait of Manet’s great friend from childhood all through his life Antonin Proust Manet wrote that he made a special effort to make this a memorable portrait and he succeeded the stance is so simple. But Manet has a way of making it so believable. He looks so comfortable in his attire You know he has his hand on his hip He’s very competent and he’s holding his cane it’s the kind of interesting – comparing to there with the first painting I showed by Fontan-Latour where he had a glove on his left hand and his right hand did not have a glove This one is the opposite where the glove is on the right hand and I kind of think that was kind of a fashionable thing that men did where men took a glove off one hand for whatever reason maybe to shake hands with other people I’ll leave that to the fashion historians to figure out. Now let’s look at some of the details of the painting that are very well done Here’s another portrait of a woman I’m not going to say anything I’ll just let you enjoy this And now we move on to another portrait of Manet’s wife Suzanne now this portrait was done much later in his life and When he was close to death from syphilis His wife is sitting here and you can kind of see a lot about his technique because he fills in the basics of the shapes Very well and and that’s one of his strengths and he obviously does the basics first and then he goes in for the details later Which is his own method and a lot of great artists, they they have their own method they have their own way of painting they have their own way of drawing and Manet definitely had distinct ways of doing everything especially color now in a previous image I mentioned how the internet plate from the museum was in poor quality Another example as this painting which is in the National Gallery in London the Tate Gallery. I download the image It looks like this and also the image that the get the Getty book that goes along with this exhibition It seems to have the same image Which is very dark and it’s really disappointing that they printed this image hopefully in a later edition They can get a better quality image for example in this image The color of a dress is really pink It looks you know, it’s dark but it looks kind of like light red, but when I saw it It’s a great amazing pink and then you see the blue marks on the dress. It really works well together so I like this to this painting, but I’m disappointed that you would not enjoy it from looking at the plate Okay, so I’m not gonna mention any more about these bad museum images but they’re out there and I really think that it’s a valid criticism they this should be fixed To return to this amazing painting. It’s really amazing You can see he had these big zigzag lines in blue too on her dress and that’s very unusual for him to have that kind of a wide stroke and It shows how he kind of adapts his stroke to the image but it also might be he was kind of tired. This was toward when he was ill Now this one it actually looks kind of like a Degas. I don’t know who did it first It’s not that big a deal to me, but it’s interesting that he kind of obsessed a little bit about the outline, which he doesn’t usually do And that’s kind of something Degas does so I don’t know how that came about but that’s the one thing of that I noticed about this is now he’s really going over the outline very several times so we move on to this painting of a woman with a hat and I kind of think this is kind of a joke in a way that sometimes even in today’s fashions a woman will acquire a male fashion attribute, in this case a top hat and put it on her head and it’s kind of a very Confident woman will do it, but you can see the hats kind of small It doesn’t fit the same way it fits on a man so I kind of think this is like a fashion a very high fashion thing to do and I like the way that the hands and the gloves are just barely done in But he’d still get the feeling of what’s going on. Then we move on to another remarkable man a painting called The Plum in the National Gallery of Art in the United States, a very nice plate, and one thing I read about this painting and some people say she’s bored. Some people say she’s interested, you know, it’s amazing. Everybody has a different opinion on her thoughts, but I think she looks interesting She’s cognizant of what’s going on. Sometimes when I look at these cafe paintings I imagine there’s music going on in the background So if someone’s just sitting there, you know, they’re probably listening to music or just enjoying looking around now there is another painting by Degas and this is done before Manet a woman in a cafe and it’s interesting because When I read about it, it’s the same model in both paintings and look at the difference between the two models I’m not going to tell you what I think I’m gonna leave that up to you I will say that the model herself said that Degas made her look like an idiot Okay, next we’re gonna move on to this Lion hunter. I’m not gonna pronounce his name. It’s too difficult for me, but it is a person who collected Manet paintings and he was a kind of a braggart and he bragged about his lying hunting in the colonies and He was also an amateur painter now I’ve written down six things wrong with this painting The first major thing is that he’s put a tree trunk on the left-hand side It readjusts the whole frame of the painting and if you take in an art class, they tell you never to put a line right down the side of the painting because it cuts it in half. Well in this case in two thirds Okay. Number two is the lion is horribly done You can’t even see the body of the lion. And the thing is there’s a French painter named Eugene Delacroix Who paints lions and he’s the best that ever was and you don’t want to compete with Eugene Delacroix And so he’s in a position where he’s he looks like he’s trying to hide the lion, but it’s really poorly done Okay, number three the for the forest. There’s no foilage in the forest, which he’s usually very good at The figure is kind of floating is not firmly on the ground The colors for a Manet they’re just like it seems like about four shades of colors Which is he’s not using his incredible ability What else do I have? the composition is just kind of awkward and dumb so Why did this happen this guy? he made Manet angry and Manet purposely ruined the painting by all these things I’ve mentioned That’s you know, maybe he insulted Manet’s painting. He’s an amateur painter He could have easily pretended he was much better than he was Manet was very conceited about his paintings like most great painters. So for some reason Manet just ruined this So let’s go to a Drawing of the and you can see that he hardly even sketched out the lion It’s just so basic and you know, Manet is not known for animal paintings He has some bulls and some horses and a parrot is kind of well done in one of the other ones, but he always has them as background things and he’s not really concentrating on them That drawing was up for auction The price for the drawing was three hundred and eighty six thousand dollars Here is an excellent pastel portrait Okay, so here’s an example of a painting that you’re not going to see very often in Museums because it’s in a private collection It was shown in exhibitions in 1905 1950 to 1986 and in 2000 and 2001 so so if you don’t see it and if this Manet exhibit, you’ll probably won’t come up again in your lifetime And here’s a painting called Skating and refers to the fad of roller skating which was done by where the man in the back is rollerskating And we move on to this portrait of Monsieur Brun and I have to tell you if I drove 100 miles to the Getty just to see this painting it would have been worthwhile This is an absolutely amazing painting. This painting has only been shown in an exhibition once in 1945 and that exhibition was in Paris This is a small painting It’s 21 inches by 14 inches and he captures this guy and the white clothes he’s wearing. You can feel the guy’s flesh underneath the white clothes. It’s so well done I was shivering when I looked at it. Now some people in the audience may not be able to appreciate something unless they know the value of that object Well, this painting came up for auction at Sotheby’s and it sold for 5.4 million dollars now. I’ll tell you something. I like this painting so much. I would pay 10 million dollars for this painting Now this video is Turning out to be limits longer than I thought so I’m gonna leave out a lot of some drawings here and some of the paintings but we’re gonna move on to the towards the end where he does the fruits and the flowers, so I’m really running out of superlatives to describe Manet Looking at a Maneti painting is like watching a flying unicorn. I mean, I can’t even believe the way he did these peaches. It’s absolutely Amazing. You can just feel the freshness the ripeness the colors and here’s some strawberries and Then you have some of these plums with he draws the waxy surface So when I look at these Manet paintings I have a physical reaction inside my body in my solar plexus in my chakra, I feel it expand. I feel it warm I get sensations in my solar plexus and it just elevates my spirit Now we’re gonna close out with one of the last paintings that Manet did it has no figures in it It’s just this house. It has a tree in the middle, but it doesn’t cut off the whole painting and Manet is the master of composition, so he might have had a reason to do that and I’m gonna trust his genius on that one I want to thank everyone for watching this film

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