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  • Edouard Manet
    Jan 23, 1832 – Apr 30, 1883
  • Gypsy with Cigarette - Édouard Manet was a French painter. One of the first nineteenth century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. His early masterworks The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia engendered great controversy, and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art.
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Gypsy with Cigarette
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  • Gypsy with Cigarette

  • Edouard Manet
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  • also known as Indian Woman Smoking

    circa 1862
    Oil on canvas
    92.08 cm (36.25 in.) x 73.66 cm (29 in.)
    Princeton University Art Museum, United States.

    This painting, found in the Manets studio after his death, was never exhibit, and no indication of its original title has been discover. Purchase by Edgar Degas, it was listed in early sales as Indian Woman or Mexican Woman. Gypsy designation appear relatively late but has been accept. Though the date in 1860s is traditional based on comparisons with Spanish dancers whom Manet saw perform at Paris Hippodrome in 1862, Juliet Wilson-Bareau recently suggested that the composition is closer to works from the 1870s. Spanish culture and painting fascinated Manet, and the loose, expressive brushwork of Velazquez and Goya heavily influenced him. The subject and identity of the model are perhaps less critical for interpretation than the way in which the artist presents this exotic other, who transgress norms associated with respectable French women of the era. Dark skin and tousle black hair mark her as an outsider, as does her bold, frontal pose. With one hand on her hip and a cigarette dangling from her lips, she exudes audacious self-confidence. Her gaze into the distance lends a thoughtful, even contemplative air. Manets composition is equally daring. It includes passages that are difficult to read and optical inconsistencies, like the form on which woman lean. Objects are cropped at unusual places horses head is cut off behind ear. Manet seems to have considered canvas unfinished, and it is difficult to know how he would complete it. Gypsy with Cigarette thus remains a tantalizing work, one of Manets most enigmatic images of daydreaming woman.

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The Fifer
The Fifer
A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres
A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres
A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres: DETAIL of barmaid
A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres: DETAIL of barmaid
Edouard ManetManet was born in Paris on 23 January, 1832, the eldest son of a high official in the French Ministry. In 1848 he failed the entrance exam to naval college. He subsequently went to sea with the merchant marine to avoid studying law, as his father wished. He became a painter against his father's advice, joining the studio of the respected academic painter Thomas Couture in 1850. Though he remained with Couture for six years, Manet gained his real knowledge of art during visits to Italy in 1853 and 1857, and to Germany and Holland in 1856. Those trips exposed Manet to the same masters who had so profoundly interpreted realism in the past: Hals, Velázquez and Goya. In 1863 Manet participated in the famous Salon des Refuses, an exhibition consisting of works rejected by the official Salon, and he came to be viewed as the hero of the nonconformists. Though Manet regarded himself as working in the tradition of the great masters, his approach was to rethink established themes in modern terms. His early notoriety was based on the subject matter of paintings such as Dejeuner sur l'herb, and Olympia rather than their style. Highly independent, and extraordinarily original in both his unconventional portrayals of modern life and his spontaneous brushwork, he struggled for academic acceptance throughout his life. Although Manet was rebellious in his subject matter, he craved official recognition, and this may be why he never 'compromised' himself by exhibiting at any of the Impressionist exhibitions. He claimed that he had 'no intention of overthrowing old methods of painting, or creating new ones'. Although he never regarded himself as an Impressionist and never exhibited with them, Manet strongly supported their choice of subject matter. Manet's refreshingly direct look at life and his spontaneous yet monumental translation of what he saw into paint earned him the position as their unofficial leader.