Chronological Survey 1832 - 1860


1832 Birth of Edouard Manet on January 23rd in Paris (at no. 5, Rue des Petits-Augustins, today Rue Bonaparte), son of Auguste Manet, chief of personnel at the Ministry of Justice, and Eugénie Désirée Fournier, daughter of a French diplomat in Sweden and god-daughter of Marshal Bernadotte, later King of Sweden.
1833 Birth of Eugéne Manet, Edouard's brother.
1834 Birth of Edgar Degas.
1839 Manet a day-boy at the school of Canon Poiloup, in the Vaugirard district of Paris.
1839 Birth of Paul Cézanne.
1840 Birth of Emile Zola and Claude Monet.
1841 Birth of Berthe Morisot and Auguste Renoir.
1842 Manet studies at the Collège Rollin, near the Panthéon.
1842 Birth of Stéhane Mallarmé.
1845 (or 1846) Acting on the advice of his uncle, Edmond-Edouard Fournier, a connoisseur of art, Manet enrolls in a special course in drawing at the Collège Rollin; here he meets Antonin Proust. His uncle encourages both boys to visit the museums. Manet covers his school notebooks with sketches.  
1847 Thomas Couture scores a great success at the Salon with his "Roman Orgy."
1848 Completes his studies at the Collège Rollin, having shown, however, little aptitude or taste for learning. His father has his heart set on sending the boy on to Law School, but Manet wants to be an artist. His father will have none of it; heated discussions follow and as an alternative he is allowed to enter the Navy, but fails the entrance examinations of the Naval Training School.
December 9. Manet goes to sea as an apprentice aboard the transport ship "Le Havre et Guadeloupe."
1848 Birth of Paul Gauguin.
1849 Manet in Rio de Janeiro.
July. His final rejection as a candidate for the Naval Training School. His son having returned home with sheaves of drawings in his bags, Manet senior gives in at last and consents to his studying art.
1850 Manet enters Couture's studio in the Rue de Laval (today Rue Victor-Massé), where Antonin Proust joins him. But he soon rebels against Couture's methods. Manet stands out clearly above all the other students.  
1851 In December, according to Proust, Manet does a drawing showing the identification of dead bodies at the Montmartre cemetery.  
1852 January 29. Birth of Léon-Edouard Leenhoff, son of Suzanne Leenhoff, a young Dutchwoman, born in 1830. Probably Manet was the father of the child. He had met Suzanne Leenhoff in his father's home where she gave piano lessons. Officially Manet was the godfather of the child, who first knew Suzanne as his godmother and later passed as her younger brother.
1853 Birth of Vincent Van Gogh.
1855 At the Louvre Manet copies "The Little Horsemen," a painting then attributed to Velazquez.
At Couture's studio Manet paints a canvas strongly disapproved of by his teacher. His fellow students take Manet's side, congratulate him on the picture and cover his easel with flowers. Couture's retort: "My friend, if you have any pretension to being the head of a school, go set it up elsewhere."
1855 Large-scale exhibition of works by Ingres, Delacroix and Théodore Rousseau at the Paris World's Fair. Courbet exhibits in a pavilion of his own under the banner of Realism.
1856 Probably about Eastertime, Manet leaves Couture's studio. He and Count Albert de Balleroy, also a painter, rent a studio jointly in the Rue Lavoisier. He travels to The Hague, Amsterdam, Dresden, Munich and Vienna, then to Florence, Rome and Venice, haunting the museums.
1856 Duranty launches a review called "Le Réalisme." Courbet paints "Girls on the Banks of the Seine."
1857 Manet meets Fantin-Latour at the Louvre.
In 1857, or thereabouts, Manet and Antonin Proust pay a visit to Delacroix. At the Louvre Manet copies Delacroix "Dante and Virgil in Hell."
1857 Baudelaire publishes "Les Fleurs du Mal."
1859 Manet "Absinthe Drinker," painted in 1858, is rejected at the Salon. Delacroix casts the only vote in its favor.
" Boy with Cherries," Manet first famous picture. It is the portrait of a youngster employed to clean his brushes and scrape his palettes in his studio in the Rue Lavoisier. One of Berthe Morisot's notebooks contains the following entry: "' Boy with Cherries.' which used to belong to my husband ( Eugène Manet). This child, who in despair hanged himself in Edouard's studio, inspired one of Baudelaire's stories."
1860 Troubled by the boy's suicide after he had rebuked him, Manet leaves the Rue Lavoisier studio and takes another in the Rue de la Victoire, only to move on almost at once to the Rue de Douai, where he remains for the next 18 months. He becomes friendly with Baudelaire and paints "Concert at the Tuileries," "Portrait of M. and Mme Auguste Manet," his parents, and "The Spanish Guitar-Player."


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