Exhibition: Manet – Portraying Life – At the Royal Academy of Arts

Film, Documentaries
3 out of 5 stars
Exhibition: Manet – Portraying Life – At the Royal Academy of Arts

The point of this arts doc – showing in cinemas around the world for one night only on Thursday April 11 – is to give people who won’t get to see it a peek at the Manet blockbuster at the Royal Academy. For Londoners it’s an art history lesson. If you know your Manet, it might be a bit basic. For the rest of us, here’s a decent beginner’s guide to ‘the father of modern art’– if you can get past one or two iffy recreations (artist at his easel with a dreamy, concentrating face.) The exhibition is devoted to Manet’s portraiture, and host Tim Marlow neatly puts his work into context. We get a brisk tour of his sitters (wife, family, eminent friends) and an explanation of why his paintings scandalised nineteenth-century Paris (ladies nude but not in arty poses). But with the RA on our doorsteps, you’ve got to ask why Londoners would shell out to watch this at the cinema? Possibly for the chance to get up close to the paintings without having to elbow an Italian tourist out of the way. Still, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be on the telly.

By: Cath Clarke

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Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Thursday April 11 2013
Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ben Harding, Phil Grabsky
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