The highly regarded painter Edouard Manet spent his early years copying the old master paintings of Velazquez and Goya in the Louvre. Contrary to the old masters, Manet believed that art should reflect scenes and subjects of contemporary life. His famous “Déjeuner sur l’herbe” was rejected from the 1863 Salon and was exhibited in the first Salon des Refusés. For his beliefs in the value of depicting contemporary life, Manet became an influential figure to the Impressionist movement, though he declined to participate in all of their eight exhibitions.
Printmaking was a minor aspect of Manet’s artistic output, though he worked in etching, lithography, and woodcut techniques. His earliest prints were etchings that borrow their compositions from his painting oeuvre. Later endeavors in printmaking were often illustrations to accompany poetry, as Manet was involved in the circle of the French literary giants of his time. One of his most famous collaborations was in his lithographs designed for Stéphane Mallarmé’s translation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” in 1875.