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The Absinthe Drinker is a painting produced by the painter Édouard Manet between 1858 and 1859.
This painting is considered to be the first original work by the artist, who was in his twenty-sixth year at the time.
It is a full-length portrait in dominant shades of brown, grey and black of Collardet, a ragpicker who frequented the area around the Louvre at the time.
The painting's distinctly realistic and prosaic style symbolises a real break with the training Manet had received from his former master, Thomas Couture. There is also a strong influence from Spanish painting, in particular Velázquez and his Menippo. It is possible that this work takes its theme from Charles Baudelaire's poem Le Vin des chiffonniers (1857). This character is also to be found in a later painting by Manet, a group portrait called The Old Musician (1862).
The bold brushwork of this work convinced Baudelaire of his young friend's talent and led to the latter's break with Couture.
Manet presented this painting to the Salon jury for the first time in 1859, but only Eugène Delacroix voted in its favour. The painting was therefore rejected.
It was finally shown at the Universal Exhibition of 1867 (Paris): the last quarter of the painting had been hidden from public view by the painter. After 1867 and before 1872, analysis of the painting proved that the glass of absinthe on the left was an addition by the painter.
The painting was first sold in 1872 to the gallery owner Paul Durand-Ruel. In 1906, it was [...]
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Our art prints are printed reproductions of original artworks. We provide you the choice between different print materials depending on the style you want to achieve. Read bellow for more information about each material.