Manet and Godard: Perception and History in Histoire(s) du Cinéma


  • Pablo Gonzalez Ramalho Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


Painting, Cinema, Impressionism, Édouard Manet, Jean-Luc Godard


This article intends to analyse Manet’s painting occurrences in Histoire(s) du cinéma (9, quoted on Céline Scemama’s Partitions), in order to evolve a possible sense to Godard’s statement that Lumière was the last impressionist painter. As Godard’s audiovisual claims require aesthetic parameters to reveal historical thesis, philosophy and intermediality are confronted with the commentaries on Manet’s paintings. Godard’s claim functions as a catalyst to investigate historical relations between culture and art through Histoire(s) du cinéma, in chapters 1B, 2B, and notably 3A, the one with a greater number of Manet’s paintings’ occurrences. Lumière’s invention was to prolong impressionism in the sense that it has the power to make us think as well. In Histoire(s) du cinéma Godard quotes Georges Bataille’s Manet, to show the difference between an artform in which the figures seem to say I (romanticism), and the other one in which the figures seem to say I know what you’re thinking of (modernism). But this historical development would have been stopped by wars and imperialisms, and then we should see other kinds of figures, astonishingly, spread through the entire art history, as Godard shows us. They are figures which see and show undoubtful agonies such as war agonies, hideous agonies.




How to Cite

Ramalho, P. G. (2018). Manet and Godard: Perception and History in Histoire(s) du Cinéma. Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image, (10), 64–96. Retrieved from