Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet, Paveurs de la Rue Mosnier, 1878, Private collection

Family money plays a great role in the art of the nineteenth century. Moderate family allowances enabled Corot and Cézanne to leave behind the marketplaces of Parisian art and paint their unsalable paintings; and Van Gogh’s bouquets, orchards, and fields would probably never have come into being were it not for brother Theo’s support, which was partly emotional, but which would have been meaningless if it had not also been financial. Edouard Manet, backed by a large family fortune, had no pressing financial motive for catering to contemporary taste, but he did not really use his money, as did Corot and Cézanne, to buy freedom...

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