In the final stage of his life on earth Manet kept on painting. Thank God. After finishing his last big Masterpiece in 1882, the famous bar scene in the Folie Bergères, his health deteriorated quickly and from his deathbed he painted the flower bouquets his friends brought to him.
He did some 16 before he died only 51 years old on April 30th 1883. These last paintings are now scattered around the world and not all that easy to locate on the Internet. It took 100 years before they were again brought together in a small but beautiful book (ISBN see below). Today these great little paintings are recognized because of their importance, composition and beauty. Maybe they are the very best he ever created.
Manet did not paint these compositions in the classic sense of just putting paint on a canvas. In those final months he showed his extraordinary talent to pick up color and light with a brush from his pallet and transferring them into his copy of the beauty and reality before him. Splashes of paint creating a perfect impressionistic optical illusion of reality. In 1882/1883.
I choose these 8 using this posting to introduce and surprise you this weekend with three extraordinary contemporary painters I discovered recently and that I would like to share next. Two Americans and a Russian.
One can’t live by woodblock prints alone. Can one?
Andrew Forge, The last Flowers of Manet. ISBN 0810914220 and 0810981645
Publisher: Abrams , Incorporated, Harry N., 1989 and 1999