Eduard Manet was born into a wealthy family - his father was the head of the department of the Ministry of Justice, his mother was the daughter of a diplomat. The boy's father was categorically against art education for his son. The first lectures on painting were paid by Uncle Edward. At the insistence of his father, Mane entered the Maritime School twice and failed the exams twice. At this point, the whole family of the young artist already understood that his calling was canvas and brushes. However, Manet’s career was not easy, and for almost its entire length, he was confused by both critics and ordinary viewers. The master’s commitment to nudity did repeatedly cause scandals - the Paris Salon considered his work obscene.
The painting The shooting of Emperor Maximilian depicts a complex, transitional moment in the history of Mexico. Maximilian received the title of emperor during the seizure of Mexican lands by the French. However, the country's armed forces remained faithful to the true Mexican President, Benito Juarez, and did not want to obey a stranger from Europe. Maximilian was captured and shot.
Eduard Manet was actively interested in politics, and this event made a deep impression on him. There are several copyright versions of the picture, the most famous is kept in Mannheim. The military in this picture is dressed in a standard field uniform, common not only in Mexico, but also in many other countries. Next to Maximilian are two loyal generals. The sombrero on the head of the emperor rests on the very top, which creates two interesting and very bright symbols. Firstly, the hat does not seem to fit and is about to fly off, which hints at the ineffective and truly catastrophic rule of Maximilian, who absolutely did not understand the Mexican people. Secondly, thanks to the gold rim, the sombrero’s lifted top resembles the halo of a martyr, the halo of a saint. Because of the fence, the onlookers are watching the execution. In general, the picture seems rather calm, which served as a reason for criticism of the canvas and government censorship. Due to the detachment and ambiguity, the picture was forbidden to be shown in public.