The House at Rueil

Édouard Manet1882

Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Edouard Manet’s fascination with the effects of light and colour was constantly renewed as he took in the myriad impressions of the infinitely varied world around him. His portrayal of the house just outside Paris belonging to his host, the poet Eugène Labiche, was in no way intended as a faithful view. Instead he restricted himself to a section of the facade, like a detail, much in the style of Japanese woodcuts. It is not possible to take in the house as a whole, both because of the limited view and because of the tree trunk that calculatedly cuts through the aedicule and thus through the functional and aesthetic center of the house, heightening the viewer’s attention and fascination. While the facade is bathed in blazing sunlight, one can nevertheless sense the cooling shade cast by the crown of the tree up above the top edge of the picture. One also senses that there is a slight breeze causing the patches of light to gently shift their position. “A blithe spirit has created this picture with consummate skill” (Hugo von Tschudi) — skill that is evident in the finely balanced play of colours, the powerful contrasts of red and green, and the restrained resonance of tones of yellow and blue.

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  • Title: The House at Rueil
  • Creator: Edouard Manet
  • Date Created: 1882
  • Physical Dimensions: w92.3 x h71.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on canvas
  • Inv.-No.: A I 970
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist biography: Édouard Manet was one of the most important and controversial French painters of the 19th century, whose works sometimes scandalized Parisian society and became a great inspiration for the Impressionists. In 1845 he took part in a special course of drawing and met Antonin Proust who later became the Minister of Fine Arts. From 1850–56 Manet was an apprentice under the history painter Thomas Couture and copied the old masters in the Louvre. In 1853 he travelled to Germany, Italy and the Netherlands where he was influenced by Dutch artists such as Frans Hals as well as by Spanish painters like Diego Velázquez and Francisco Josè de Goya. In 1856 he opened his own studio. During his early years his style was characterized by simplified details and the realism of his day. His main subjects were people, for example in cafés or ballet scenes, humble persons such as beggars or gypsies and scenes of daily life. Rather less frequently, he also painted religious, mythological or historical themes. His friends included several Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir or Paul Cézanne. Manet became famous for artworks like 'Le déjeuner sur l’herbe' (1862), 'Olympia' (1863) 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère' (1882) and 'The Café Concert' (1878).
  • Artist Place of Death: Paris, France
  • Artist Place of Birth: Paris, France
  • Artist Dates: 1832-01-23/1883-04-30