M. and Mme Edouard Manet (c.1868 – c.1869) by Edgar Degas

M. and Mme Edouard Manet - Edgar Degas - c.1868 - c.1869

Artwork Information

TitleM. and Mme Edouard Manet
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1868 - c.1869
Dimensions65 x 71 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationKitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Fukuoka, Japan

About M. and Mme Edouard Manet

The artwork titled “M. and Mme Edouard Manet” was created by the artist Edgar Degas between approximately 1868 and 1869. This oil on canvas piece is a fine example of the Impressionist movement, measuring 65 by 71 centimeters. Renowned as a portrait, the artwork has found a home at the Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art in Fukuoka, Japan.

The artwork captures a moment of repose and presents an intimate portrait of two figures. On the left, a man is depicted reclining comfortably on what appears to be a sofa, his leg crossed and head resting on his hand, which holds a pipe. His relaxed posture and the contemplative look on his face suggest a moment of private reflection or perhaps a quiet intermission in daily life. His attire, a suit with a waistcoat, points to conventional 19th-century fashion.

To the right, a woman stands with her back mostly toward the viewer, facing a wall or a curtain that divides the composition. Her attire consists of a long, flowing dress, accessorized with a sash around her waist, which was typical of women’s fashion during the late 1860s. The distinct division of the composition, with the curtain or wall, creates a visual separation between the two figures, potentially alluding to a larger narrative or an emotional distance.

The painting showcases Degas’ mastery of capturing everyday scenes with a candid and almost photographic immediacy, encapsulating the essence of Impressionism, which aimed to illustrate life’s fleeting moments with spontaneity and a focus on the effects of light. The subtle use of colors and soft brushstrokes lend a sense of realism and warmth to the scene, making this artwork a remarkable snapshot of private life in the 19th century.

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