Manet and the Modern Tradition, by Anne Coffin Hanson. New Haven: Yale University Press. $14.95.
As "the painter of modern life" that Baudelaire had demanded, Edouard Manet was a witty, complex artist whose work has been interpreted in many ways. Anne Coffin Hanson looks at Manet not just as an artist, but as a man of his times, living in changing, uneasy world. With rich, loose brushstrokes in his paintings of moments of peace and pleasure, Manet struggled to create an expression for the future that the Impressionists admired and quickly followed. Yet, his relationships with contemporary artists and writers were no simpler than anything else about him. Exampling these ambiguities, this book is a valuable study on Manet for the reader with a sincere interest, well written and beautifully illustrated.