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Edouard Manet, Music in the Tuileries Gardens

Key facts
Full title Music in the Tuileries Gardens
Artist Edouard Manet
Artist dates 1832 - 1883
Date made 1862
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 76.2 × 118.1 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Sir Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917, The National Gallery, London. In partnership with Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.
Inventory number NG3260
Location On loan: Long Loan to The Hugh Lane (2019 - 2026) (Group B), Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin, Ireland
Collection Main Collection
Music in the Tuileries Gardens
Edouard Manet

A fashionable and wealthy crowd that includes many artists and intellectuals has gathered in the Tuileries Gardens to listen to one of the twice-weekly concerts given there. Manet himself stands at the far left of the picture holding a cane, his body cut by the edge of the canvas and partly obscured by the man in front of him, the animal painter Comte Albert de Balleroy. He is a participant in the scene but also slightly detached from it.

Painted in 1862, this was Manet’s first major painting of contemporary life in Second Empire Paris (1852–1870) and is an early example of his interest in urban leisure, a subject that would preoccupy him for the rest of his life, as it would the Impressionists. But it is also a group portrait of Manet and his family, friends and associates.

The painting has the status of an artistic manifesto and has justifiably been described as the earliest example of modern painting due to its subject matter and technique.

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