Wall flag, a Flute-Playing teenager
In this wall flag, a young cavalry of the Royal Guard is playing a flute, a wooden flute with a sharp voice, which is used to guide soldiers into battle. The name of the flute becomes the title of the painting. Young musicians occupy the central position of the painting. Manet looked at the child soldier with pity and was proud of the outfit the child wore for drawing. All his attention was focused on the red, black, white and gold-decorated perfect American uniform and the gold metal jacket of the piccolo. Pipes tied with white ribbons were placed on the dark wool of men’s tight jackets. The red wool of trousers was shining, and the jackets were decorated with copper buttons. Tighten the upper part of the child’s cloth band to form a bright light, and the white hoods set off. Only the child’s face and hands are animated, in sharp contrast to the slightly stiff, imperceptible silhouette.We can also make this painting into custom embroidery patches.
Teenagers clearly appear on the gray background with subtle changes in tone. The background does not give a definite space, but gives the impression that air flows around him. Manet did not add any narrative background elements because he wanted to make the object appear isolated and avoid creating the impression that it was created at the parade or military training site. Children, their clothes and their piccolos constitute the only theme of the painting. The painting was done in the cold light of the studio, which can be confirmed by the short shadow cast on the ground.
Manet\’s painting style
At first glance, Manet\’s painting style should belong to the classical realism style. His character details are quite realistic, but the reason why Manet is classified as impressionism lies in the theme of his painting, which subverts the conservative thinking of realism. Since 1859, Manet has regularly sent his paintings to the Judgment Committee of the official Paris Salon Exhibition for examination. This painting, Teenagers Who Play the Flute, was rejected by the Judgment Committee in 1866.
Critics at that time accused the painting of lacking thickness and simplicity, such as the naive portrait of the people printed in the city of Urbinal; there was no matching or connection between the background and the characters, which also made the characters unreal; the characters were treated with large dots, much like the head portraits on poker cards and Japanese copperplate prints. For the academicians, this little guard of Napoleon III, who was not qualified for the canvas at all, became unconsciously the object of the revolutionary Manet\’s description, which was Manet\’s challenge to traditional ideas.