The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, May 27, 2017


Manet's Femme nue se coiffant Sells for $7.5 Million
Edouard Manet (1832-1883), Femme nue se coiffant, 1879. © Christie's Images Ltd.


PARIS, FRANCE.- A work by Edouard Manet titled Femme nue se coiffant was sold at Christie’s in Paris for $7,569,408. This is a record for a painting in France since 1993. This is also a record for a nude painting by a French impressionist painter. The work was purchased by an American collector.

The years 1878 and 1879 are oftentimes heralded as Manet's great return to the nude following his notorious compositions Déjeuner sur l'herbe and Olympia of 1863. However the fact is that the artist treated the female nude only very rarely throughout his career; including the present work, only nine completed oil paintings exist in Manet's oeuvre (Wildenstein nos. 7, 40, 67, 69, 176, 226, 241, 287, 318). Along with four pastels executed the same year, Femme nue se coiffant is the last time the artist would treat the female nude in any important manner his work.

While Manet was renowned as an accomplished boulevardier - a "dandy in a top hat" - his production from 1879 includes only a smattering of scenes from modern life, amongst them a few images from a café-concert and figure groupings in parks. The vast majority of his work from this year are dedicated to portraiture, for 1879 marks the serious onset of a debilitating illness that would eventually claim his life. The professional result was numerous sittings of friends and family and painting and working sessions with his sole student, Eva Gonzalès.

While the younger members of the Parisian avant-garde held Manet in great esteem, he was continually reproached by critics and officials at the Salon for the "sketchy" handling of his compositions and for the implausible realism which, by concentrating on the act of painting itself, ushered "modern art" into existence. His focus on light, colour, form and composition foreshadow twentieth century artistic currants to come. "It was he," said Renoir speaking of his own early training, "who best rendered, in his canvases, the simple formula we were all trying to learn." Matisse echoed this thought years later, "He was the first to act by reflex, thus simplifying the painter's metier... Manet was a direct as could be... a great painter is one who finds lasting personal signs for the expression of his vision. Manet found his" (Manet, 1832-1883, exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 1983, p. 18).

Manet's working process is readily apparent in the present work. The background was first established with ochre and blue tones which he then scraped away, leaving behind only a semi-transparent wash. His frenetic pace is palpable in the ensuing execution - the model was quickly sketched and the drapery built up around her forms, resulting in a bravura performance not only technically in the creation of space and depth, but in spontaneity of subject as well. In Femme nue se coiffant, Manet achieves a fluidity and grace, a total liberation from his subject all the while capturing the vivacity in a way that not even Monet would achieve his own Nymphéas for another thirty years to come.

The "male gaze" present in Manet's work is of a very different nature to that of his contemporary - and rival - Degas. Manet himself proclaimed : "I can do nothing without nature [before my eyes]... I do not know how to invent... If I am worth something today, it is due to exact interpretation and faithful analysis" (E. Zola, "My Portrait by Edouard Manet", L'Evénement illustré, 10 May 1868; in: Gronberg, Manet: A Retrospective, New York, 1990, p. 100). Manet worked with his subject in view, yet his paintings are more like impressions of the image beheld. Degas worked in his studio from memory and sketches, yet his nudes are more like realistic transcriptions of a moment viewed from a keyhole.

So while the model for his nudes of 1879 (including the four pastels heretofore mentioned) remains somewhat of a mystery, Méry Laurent, one of the painter's closest female friends in his later years, is a plausible conjecture. A highly celebrated courtisane, Méry is said to have served as the primary model for Proust's Odette Swann. At the turn of the century, Méry was one of the great demi-mondaines and she lived a life of luxury and leisure, surrounding herself with as many fine toiletries as learned men of the arts. Prior to meeting Thomas Evans, who would become her protector, she had a short-lived career as a stage entertainer. To her Mallarmé dedicated odes, and Joris Karl Huysmans, John Lewis Brown and James McNeil Whistler were counted among her close friends. Manet was delighted by her presence, her gaity, her frivolity, and she would bring him with her to the dress-maker, Worth, and to her hat-maker on rue de la Paix. It is difficult to imagine any one else in the artist's circle of intimates who would have posed for such daring compositions.

Since its inception, Femme nue se coiffant has been in the collection of the painter's family and his descendants. Acquired at the Manet Atelier sale by his brother, Eugène, and his wife, Berthe Morisot. The work was then passed on to Julie Manet, Eugène and Berthe's only daughter, and her husband, Ernest Rouart, and with whose descendants this painting has been with ever since.






Today's News

May 25, 2007

Manet's Femme nue se coiffant Sells for $7.5 Million

Lorna Simpson Exhibition Visits Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Koloman Moser and the "Wiener Werkstatte" (Art Nouveua)

18 Images a Second at Haus der Kunst

New Works in Crocker Collection Examine Human Form

Art Museum Young Curators Present Apokalypsis

Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography

Best Total for a Modern & Contemporary Art Auction in Italy

Zooart To Open in Cuneo

The Looting of Jewish Property in Paris at Passage du Désir

Stanley Donwood Exhibition to Open in London

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Pissarro painting seized in WW II turns up in exhibition at the Marmottan Museum

2.- First comprehensive retrospective of Mark Tobey's work in Italy opens in Venice

3.- Apple-1 still tops the list of most-wanted tech collectibles

4.- Desire, love, identity: British Museum explores LGBTQ histories

5.- Exhibition focuses on the Nazi period and the acquisitions made during those years

6.- Tate Modern opens the UK's first major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for 20 years

7.- MFA Boston reaches agreement with estate to retain 18th century porcelain

8.- Anish Kapoor's Descension installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park

9.- United States pavilion opens with Mark Bradford's "Tomorrow Is Another Day"

10.- Venice's 57th International Art Exhibition is a tonic for global woes

Related Stories



Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful