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The Influences of Manet

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Painter Alan Gouk visits Manet: Portraying Life at the Royal Academy (through April 14, 2013) and muses on the ways Manet has influenced later painters.

Gouk concludes: "There are aspects of modernism which of course challenge this nexus of values, but Manet’s art is a permanent reminder that the complex constructions of cerebral compulsiveness, the ploddings of so called 'realism,' or indexes of socio-political advance in mores and life-style, however 'modernistic' they may consider themselves to be, are likely to be, in spite of themselves less a true reflection of their times than an indictment of it. They have missed the message. Manet emphasises that the continuity of painting, the continuity of value in life, is made apparent if the artist finds and holds on to his own mode of vision, trusting his own eyesight and his 'convictions of taste,' influenced as they inevitably will be by the passing show, and the march of 'history'."

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