Essay by KEEBLER100University, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

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Jeffery L. Wright

Seminar in Art

Tuesday 7:00 - 9:45

Analysis of The Old Musician

During the time period that France was undergoing a structural rebuilding, by Baron Georges Haussmann, E'douard Manet was painting "The Old Musician", and was unaware of the controversy this particular painting would bring him. Manet was an artist with a novel approach to art, contrasting with other artist of his time, which were following the mainstream approach to painting, he decided to paint the ordinary life of every day people. And like Courbet, he had decided to paint about the social issues going on in France. Because of his social attitudes during this time period the painting would be largely overlook by the critic's. His painting "The Old Musician" would serve as a duality of man's human nature for expansion at the cost of others.

Manet would use "The Old Musician" as a visual fabric of the people displaced by Haussmann's renovations, gypsies, vagabonds, street acrobats, drunks and rag pickers.

The characters in this painting were frozen in their pose and silence swept across their vacant faces. The only thing that connected them was poverty and displacement in a capitalistic society. Still, the critics didn't like the painting because the people it represented could have been any one of them. Manet was the first true artist to draw a relationship between art and society.

Manet's painting also offered the view that times were changing for artist. New artist were choosing subject matters with modern themes, new characters whose lives were being displaced by Haussmann's rebuilding Paris, simple vagabonds and gypsies were being transformed into every day heroes.

Many did not view Manet's work of "The Old Musician" as he did. They failed to see the...