Manet: The Still Life Paintings by George Mauner

Friday Inspiration


Manet: The Still Life Paintings by George Mauner

Being that 90% of my painting time is dedicated to the still-life genre, I spend a lot of time looking at books that focus on still life.

Where many books focus on Édouard Manet’s contributions to the 19th century art movements in France, this book only focuses on Manet’s use of still life in his paintings.

What I loved about this book is that it did not discount his figurative pieces that contained elements of still life as part of the composition, but instead took time to analyze how these elements helped strengthen the paintings.



And a large portion of the book was dedicated to look closely at the stand alone still-life paintings, with great detail images of some of the pieces. The enlarged images are good enough that you can really analyze his brushstrokes and paint application.

Something I really love to do.


In fact it was this painting with the Melon that made me realize how you alter your paint thickness when working in the areas of light versus shadow. This linen table cloth is something to behold…



One aspect of Manet’s artistic life I had never before considered was his private correspondence and how he would embellish them with drawings and watercolors. The pages that share his letters are some of my favorites because I think you really get a sense of who he was a private person.


Overall this book is a delight.

Manet: The Still Life Paintings


Leave a comment (6) Filed under Book Review, Friday Inspiration


  • Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful book! I was not familiar with his still lifes until quite recently. Thank you for sharing this with us, Liz!

    • Elizabeth
      Posted March 16, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      You are most welcome Suzanne! I think so many people only think of Manet as a catalyst for change in the art world, that sometimes his actual work is overlooked.

  • Posted March 15, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Great commentary on a beautiful book. I also love your insights into his personal notes. A good practice that I would love to emulate…maybe as I progress I will have the confidence to do so.

    • Elizabeth
      Posted March 16, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink


      I loved his letters also, and think I should decorate my notes, but the truth is, I just don’t write too many letters any more… maybe its a habit that needs to be added into my life so the opportunities to arise :)

  • Posted March 15, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Liz this is such a fabulous post! I will have to start collecting more books with just still life as the subject. I have a lot of art books but not specifically about still life, what a great idea. And I have to say I love the watercolors on the letters, fabulous!!!!

    • Elizabeth
      Posted March 16, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Carrie, I totally agree! His watercolors are so free and technically beautiful, how lucky for those who received his letters.


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