Born in 1832, Edouard Mamet is a significant figure in the world of painting and particularly for his contemporary transition through paintings such as ‘the Old Musician.” Unlike other artists, Manet projected modernity through his painting. In fact, in the painting; the Old Musician, Manet used interesting aspects which remain baffling in the minds of the contemporary audience. One of the baffling aspect on this painting is its formal, yet technical characteristic whose purpose was to remodel it as a reality, but expressed in the artistic method of the painter (85). In the Old Musician, he expresses the social sense of the modern society. This created a realistic picture on the nature of the contemporary society. He even went ahead to apply the abauche style of painting which was not common with the 19th century painters.
Another yet mysterious aspect of the old musician is the way quotes are arranged. They are arranged randomly which is similar to modern ‘gypsy’ paintings. Through this style, Monet supported Baudelairen concept of the contemporary world. In 1850s, a gypsy was recognized as a victim of modernization (97). Similarly, in its setting, the Old Musician depicts a society where people are displaced from their places of origin by conflicts in the capitalist society. How Manet viewed the nature of modern society through his painting is still an open question worth debating. At the time of his painting, Manet through his imaginative skills picked a despised subject that the society has transformed and used it to express realism.
Regardless of aestheticism, Manet referenced historical art as way of describing the reality of modernization. The social representation of the painting shows the typical modern society with beggars, rag pickers, violinist who are easily identifiable with their stereotypes mainly dependent on clothing. Monet’s characters show the ‘rejects’ of the modern society (82). His was a visualization of the modern society and how societal stereotypes relate. In short, Manet’s use of modernism, realism and history in his work remain a baffling issue until today.