Édouard Manet was born on January 23, 1832 to a wealthy family in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood of Paris. After attending the Institut Poiloup, he studied at the recognized Collége Rollin at the age of 12 and began studying drawing. After being rejected by the Naval Academy, he received his academic training at the Academy of Fine Arts with Thomas Couture.
A break with the classicism of the Academy and Couture occurred, so he left it after 6 years and moved into his own studio with Albert de Balleroy. Dissatisfied with conventional art, he went in search of new forms of representation. He visited the Louvre and traveled to Holland, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The painting "The Absinthe Drinker" is considered his first painting as an independent artist. However, this work was rejected by the jury of the Paris Salon in 1859. "The Spanish Singer" received an honorable mention from the same jury in 1861.
In 1863, Manet produced two major works, "Breakfast in the Green" and "Olympia." These were, on the one hand, radically despised, called scandalous, ridiculed and mocked, but at the same time Manet received numerous awards and suddenly became famous.
His position within the Avant-garde was essential in order to create a group formed by those who desired change. Manet first gathered with other artists (such as Baudelaire, Cezanne, Zola and Berthe Morisot, among others) in small circles, but soon became so famous that he was proclaimed king of the Impressionists, although he did not consider himself a member of this style.
From 1870 Manet worked intensively with Claude Monet and from him he learned the technique of painting in the open air.
Edouard Manet died on April 30, 1883 after the amputation of a leg.