Jaime, nice job! Don't worry about speed, Manet's elegant paintings accompany wuri yoon joon before and after his birthday, looking forward to more of your writings ...
Dear sisters …… After the excitement of our dear Yong Joon’s birthday, I’m overwhelmed from reading all the wonderful greetings, artworks and videos created by our talented sisters. It’s my original intention to dedicate my complete Manet series to our prince for his birthday, but my unexpected slow pace (or old age?) catches up with me. So now, dear Yong Joon, your birthday has come and gone, and I‘m still burying myself in the pile of Impressionism books! (I’m really running out of excuses explaining to the librarian that I am renewing their books for the fifth time!)
In case you are wondering how longwinded I will get or how many more of these chapters you have to endure, I’m delighted to inform you that I will be closing this Manet series in next chapter. Hope you enjoy it so far. In this chapter, I attempt to explore Manet’s still life painting and its relevance to our prince’s favourite passion, the art of photography :
Manet dedicated one-fifth of his drawings, no less than 80 of them, to still life paintings. He believed still life, more than any other genre, tried the painter’s ability to convey the appearance of subject in its purest form. The artist’s mastery of the arrangement of subjects, angle of vision, illumination and precision are of crucial importance. The creativity of still life is two-fold : first expressed in the arrangement of the subjects, second during the course of painting. Manet regarded still life painting as the epitome of an ‘art built upon another art’.
In modern times, this creative process is rediscovered in the art of photography whereby the artist would consider the same four aspects : arrangement, angle, illumination and precision. We heard numerous accounts from renowned photographers and art directors of how Yong Joon can transcend like a dream, a miracle through camera lenses. For us family who appreciates his acute sense of aesthetics and quest for perfection, these compliments are not magnification but a recognition of his metamorphosis. While outwardly appearing relaxed and acting leisurely to complement the impression of each shoot, his work attitude is strictly intense and professional. Our prince would meticulously examine each picture for its precision and aesthetic quality to his high standard. We are blessed with the end-product of that scrutiny as his radiance is beautifully captured under designed illumination and each picture becomes a self-contained perfection.
For Manet, the charm and style of apparel were hardly superficial matters. His notion of dressing was in many layers - implying external appearance, style of behaviour and speech reflected one’s awareness of artistic and literary tendencies, as well as philosophical, social and political concerns. His remarks ‘Il faut etre de son temps’ - meaning ‘it’s necessary to be of its time’, conveyed a tone of his modernism. If Manet were a photographer in present day’s 21st century, he could well be inducted into our prince’s favourite photographers circle, among the likes of Kim Tae Hwan and the late Henri Cartier-Bresson. This set of drawings illustrates Manet’s consciousness of the relationship of inanimate objects to the delights of human life, further substantiated by our prince as a style icon :
1. Impressionism, Belinda Thomson and Michael Howard, Bison Books Corp. 1988
2. Impressionism Art, Leisure & Parisian Society, Robert L.Herbert, Yale University Press, New Haven & London. 1988
3. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, James N. Wood, The Art Institute of Chicago. 2000
4. Manet The Still-Life Paintings, George Mauner, The American Federation of Arts. 2000