Édouard Manet (1832–1883): Basket of Pears
Oil on canvas | 35 x 41 cm | 1882
Most of Manet’s late works – unlike his large, complex figure compositions – are simple still lifes like this. Earlier in his career he had painted more complex still lifes with a table, tablecloth, cutlery etc., but in the end he worked with isolated objects like a basket of fruit, a vase of flowers or a bunch of asparagus against a simple, softly tinted grey or dark background with no precise indication of place.
Manet played an epoch-making role in French art in the 1800s. His works aroused vehement debate in his age and his experimental way of painting with broken lines and broad black contours looked like nothing that had ever been seen before. A quite crucial feature of Manet’s work is the Modernist renewal of the tradition of painting.
Motifs: Monumental figure compositions, portraits, still lifes, flower pictures and pictures of “modern life”.
Read more about Manet at the Musée d’Orsay’s website.