The street was built in 1889 and was named after the Czech painter Josef Mánes. Mánes is now considered to be among one of the greatest Czech painters.

In 1887, the Manes Union of Fine Arts was created in his honour. One of the central bridges over the Vltava River bears his name, and includes a statue at the Old Town end. You can also see his face often on Czech postage stamps.

In 1934 the street was renamed Barthou’s Street after the French Prime Minister Jean Louis Barthou, but was changed back in 1947 to the present day to have the original name of Mánes.