Edouard Manet. The Conservatory. 1878-1879. Oil on canvas. Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.
The Conservatory is a portrait of Monsieur and Mme Jeles Guillement, who owned a fashionable dress-shop. Mme Guillemet was American, and one of the few femmes du monde of Manet’s acquaintance who was also a friend of Suzanne Manet’s.
Édouard Manet (French pronunciation: [edwaʁ manɛ]; 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French painter. One of the first 19th-century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.
His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) and Olympia, engendered great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art.