This wonderful etching from Eduard Manet (1832 – 1883) Man with Jug (Le Buveur d’Eau ou la Regalade) has a few issues going on with it. As is often the case with older works, harmful masking tape was used to adhere it. In this case the damage is more than usual. Around the mat window masking tape was also used, in addition to the usual portions along the outer edges. There is a considerable amount of acid damage in varying stages, which was accelerated by sun damage. Due to the mats used–there were three–different portions of the etching were subject to different amounts of light. Direct sunlight acted as a catalyst for the acid compounds to burn the paper. The good news is that we think the paper is an early Rives paper, which is a French paper and of very good quality, but is laid and linen. The quality should help the condition of the paper rebound once we treat for acid damage.
To fit the etching into the original frame the bottom of the paper was folded. This left a crease and a severe amount of burning. Though the damage could be beyond our control, we will make every effort to save this area. Stay tuned for more . . .
A French painter, Edouard Manet was one of the first nineteenth century artists to approach modern-life subjects, and is considered to have been a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.
In 1850 after serving in the merchant marines, Manet entered the studio of Thomas Couture, studying until 1856. The Old Masters influenced him, particularly Velazquez and Goya.
Throughout his oeuvre Manet painted modern day life, yet many of his paintings have deeper elements than their initial impressions of simple and realistic. His work seems to mimic the contradictions and lack of perspective of himself and Paris during his working career. Always controversial, Manet sought to record the days of his life using his own unique vision. From beggars, to prostitutes, to the bourgeoisie he sought to be true to himself and to reproduce “not great art, but sincere art.”
Edouard Manet died in Paris on April 30, 1883.