The Railway is a charming and difficult scene of a woman with a little girl who studies the newly created railway lines of nineteenth century Paris. The painting was completed by Edouard Manet in 1872/73 and portrays the young girl with her back turned from the viewer. In fact, this is one of Manet’s more personal favorites and he used his favorite model Victorine Meurent as the subject. While at first glance, The Railway may appear only spontaneous and quick, if you look closer you’ll see that Manet orchestrates his painting with precision.
When viewing The Railway or any artwork by Edouard Manet, it’s easy to be captivated by what we immediately see: the colors, shapes, and beauty of each composition. Yet, until you take time to delve deeper into the world he created – the colors won’t just be colors; they will tell a story. Like many Impressionist paintings before it, The Railway shows that there is more than what we initially perceive when looking at art.
Manet’s painting techniques were an integral part of his success as an artist and this can be seen in other works such as The Lemon (1880). This delicate piece follows much of the same format but with even more spontaneity than before – as Manet seems to have found confidence in his own masterful paint strokes. Overall, combined with its beautiful array colors, unique subject matter and bold brush strokes – Edouard Manet’s The Railway continues to remain one of his most admired paintings today.