Description of the picture:
Absinthe lover – Edouard Manet. 1858-1859. Canvas, oil. 81×106 cm
The painting “Absinthe Lover” was presented to the Tribunal of the Salon in 1859. Manet made this sad plot obviously under the influence of the Spanish masters: Velazquez, Goya, Ribera.
They say that Mane’s work came out spontaneously – at one fine moment he met a sovereign of middle age, whose appearance betrayed his disastrous material situation. The painter invited him to work as a sitter, and he punctually came every day, at the designated time and place, to stand in one pose.
On the canvas we see a man whose affliction is obvious – drunkenness. An empty bottle was lying casually at the feet of his master, and his once beautiful suit, including a top hat and a wide cloak, was badly frayed. But, in spite of its unsightly appearance, the expression on his face betrays in him the still-lost pride, human dignity.
Having finished the work (and Manet was very pleased with it), the artist hastened to show it to his teacher Couture, who was also the main voice in the Salon. Couture sharply negatively commented on the picture, which forever put an end to the conversation and friendship with his student. The remaining members of the Council of the Salon also spoke about the work not in the best way, blaming the vulgarity of the plot, unworthy high art, which further wounded Manet.
However, the artist did not give up, failure always spurred Mans. Remaining true to himself, he was looking for new forms and solutions, this is the world and has so many of his delightful works, including “Absinthe Lover”."