The Balcony (1868-69) by Edouard Manet

The Balcony - Edouard Manet - 1869

All Artwork Images

Artwork Information

TitleThe Balcony
ArtistEdouard Manet
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions170 x 124.5 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationMusée d'Orsay, Paris
Location Created Paris, France

About The Balcony

“The Balcony,” an oil on canvas painting by Edouard Manet, dates back to 1869 and is an exemplar of the Realism art movement. It measures 170 by 124.5 cm and belongs to the genre painting category. This artwork currently resides in the prestigious Musée d’Orsay in Paris, which is also the city where it was created. The Realist movement, to which this piece belongs, was characterized by a focus on depicting everyday scenes and subjects in a truthful and naturalistic manner, often emphasizing the ordinary over the romanticized.

The artwork portrays a balcony scene with four figures positioned in a candid, almost casual manner, typical of Manet’s approach to genre painting. In the foreground, two women in white dresses are visible. The woman on the left is seated and gazes directly at the viewer, creating an engaging and confrontational interaction, while the woman to the right stands slightly behind her, holding a fan and adorned with flowers, looking somewhat detached from the viewer. Behind them, a man stands with his hand on his hip, his demeanor exuding a sense of confident poise. The deep, dark tones of his attire contrast sharply with the bright white of the women’s dresses, serving to anchor the composition.

Notable is the presence of lush greenery and florals, contributing to a sense of liveliness and freshness. The architectural details and objects, such as the balcony railing with its geometric design, the potted plants, and the small glimpse into the room beyond through the open window shutters, provide context and depth to the scene. The brushstrokes and use of color by the artist give texture and vibrancy to the piece, showcasing Manet’s skill in capturing a moment in time with both clarity and a hint of ambiguity. The individuals depicted in the artwork appear to be in a moment of social interaction, yet each seems absorbed in their internal world, pointing to the complexity of human relationships and social dynamics that Manet often explored in his work.

Other Artwork from Edouard Manet

More Realism Artwork

Scroll to Top