:: Volume 4, Issue 17 (12-2015) ::
کیمیای هنر 2015, 4(17): 56-75 Back to browse issues page
THE TRAGIC DEATH OF EDOUARD MANET The French Pioneer Impressionist Painter in the 19th Century: A Psychoanalytical glance to the Psycho-physical Disturbances, Personality Characteristic, the Personal Life & the Arts
Monir S. Saleh *
Department of Education & Psychology; Family Research Center; Shahid Beheshti University
Abstract:   (6815 Views)

Edouard Manet (1832-1883), the pivotal French painter in transition from Realism to Impressionism – modern-life subjects – primed a colossal deviation in the world of painting at the turning point of the 18th century to the 19th century in France. This paper will psychoanalytically explore Manet’s disturbed life and disarrayed course of development, psycho-physical sufferings including child-parents conflicts, unresolved Oedipus Complex, depressive and sadomasochistic mood as a result of being the object of constant rejection and humiliation by parents and the ruling power that caused a paradoxical and delusional perception of the ‘Self’ inside him. Manet’s art and life-style are woven with saturated controversies: inclination towards natural beauty and classical paintings combined with norm breaking and scandalous life-style as a mean for his rebellious movement to protest social ruling system and advocate modernism. At the early teen age, Edouard experienced a hidden indecent triangular affair involving his father Auguste, and the piano teacher, Suzanne Leenhoff. The lack of intimacy among the parents, abandoned life and vulgarism within the family members with having a lavish family pride provoked a narcissistic personality disarray for Manet, which resulted in a “Freudian Neurotic Family Romance” that caused an identity crisis and self-denial, which consequently led him towards traumatized and severe psycho-physical sicknesses all through his life. By creating radical paintings, Manet was embedding an audacious protest against the hegemony of ruling power and sociopolitical values at his time in France. This was a sudden atrocity and confusing conversion to the world of paintings unacceptable to his contemporaries. Manet’s doctrine was to advocate modernism as a way of self-consciousness and self-reference, which was incongruent to his bizarre life and aristocratic origin. These aberrations affected his personal, social and artistic life towards a physical and mental suffering that eventually culminated to a tragic termination. The merge of immense paradoxical dogma, creative mind, controversial vision to social constraint, foresight for the inexorable rise of new sociopolitical vision in France, at the same time excruciating from the ethical principles, cultural and aesthetic orders in Edouard Manet is significantly thought provoking and questionable.

Keywords: Edouard Manet, Psychoanalysis, Impressionism, Psycho-physical disarray, Personality characteristics, Psychopathology, Art
Full-Text [PDF 892 kb]   (4842 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2016/06/18 | Accepted: 2016/06/18


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Volume 4, Issue 17 (12-2015) Back to browse issues page