LOS ANGELES, CA.- The J. Paul Getty Museum
announced today the acquisition of Portrait of Julien de la Rochenoire (1882), a pastel by Édouard Manet (18321883), one of the greatest late 19th-century French artists. This is the first pastel by Manet to enter the Getty Museums collection.
Manets pastels are striking for their virtuoso technique, displaying all of the spontaneity and deftness one finds in his best paintings, says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. While the Getty owns two of Manets celebrated paintings, this pastelmade informally for a friendis a particularly intimate and personal work, offering the perfect complement to our other holdings of this great artists work.
Over the course of his career, Manet created some 89 known pastels, many of which are portraits of friends. The subject of the Gettys pastel, Émile Charles Julien de la Rochenoire (18251899), was an animal and landscape painter who had known Manet for many years. He frequently visited Manets last studio on rue dAmsterdam, and the pastel was most likely executed during one such visit.
While many of Manets pastel portraits have monochrome backgrounds, La Rochenoire is set against swirling patterned wallpaper of brilliant salmon pink and blue, heightening the psychological energy of the sitters face. From the rough texture of the hair, mustache, and eyebrows to the zigzag layers of black, white, and gray in his stylish jacket, the entire pastel is worked with bravura and confidence.
While the majority of Manets pastels are of women, his portraits of males tend to be more gripping, says Lee Hendrix, senior curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. His male sitters display far more verve and personality, and this pastel is one of his most dynamic.
The newly acquired Manet joins two paintings by the artist already in the Gettys collection, The Rue Mosnier with Flags (1878) and Portrait of Madame Brunet (186063), as well as a watercolor, Bullfight (1865). It also complements the Museums holdings of 19th century pastels, which include Edgar Degass Waiting (about 1882) and Odilon Redons Portrait of Baronne de Domecy (about 1900), and a group of major watercolors and drawings by Renoir, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Seurat.
Portrait of Julien de la Rochenoire (1882) will go on view in the Museums West Pavilion June 3August 24, 2014. Also on view in the same gallery will be An Indian Man (c. 1878-79), a drawing by Post-Impressionist luminary Georges Seurat (1859-1891). The work was acquired by the Getty in February, and is considered by scholars to be the most novel achievement of Seurats youth.