Manet: Portraying Life at the Royal Academy of Arts in London was the first-ever retrospective devoted to the portraiture of Édouard Manet, often called the “father of modern art.” Spanning the entire career of this enigmatic and sometimes controversial artist, the extremely popular 2013 exhibition brought together works from Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Manet’s portraiture comprised about half of his artistic output. He painted his family and friends, as well as the literary, political, and artistic figures of the day, giving life not only to his subjects but also to Parisian society. The exhibition included portraits of his wife and most-frequent sitter, Suzanne Leenhoff; luminaries such as Stéphane Mallarmé, Antonin Proust, and Émile Zola; and scenes from everyday life—all revealing Manet’s forward-thinking, modern approach to portraiture.

The film offers behind-the-scenes moments of preparing the exhibition while interweaving a superbly crafted biography of Manet and 19th-century Paris.

Following the July 14 screening, stick around for a concert of music by Claude Debussy and Gabriel Fauré. The performance is free with Museum admission! 

► Plan ahead for your visit with parking information.

Running Time
90 minutes
Digital, Color