Woman with Parrot (1866) by Edouard Manet

Woman with Parrot - Edouard Manet - 1866

Artwork Information

TitleWoman with Parrot
ArtistEdouard Manet
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions185.1 x 128 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, US
Location Created Paris, France

About Woman with Parrot

The artwork “Woman with Parrot” by Edouard Manet, completed in 1866, is a captivating oil on canvas painting embodying the Realism art movement. This portrait measures 185.1 by 128 cm and was created in Paris, France. Currently housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, NY, US, the work is an exemplar of Manet’s oeuvre that often defied the traditional expectations of the artistic community of his time.

The artwork portrays a female figure standing in a half-length pose against a stark, dark background, which accentuates her presence. She appears dressed in an elegant, flowing white gown with delicate ruffles and fine detailing that suggests softness and texture, all rendered with Manet’s masterful brushwork. Her expression is serene and contemplative, as she gazes directly towards the viewer, creating a sense of direct engagement.

In her right hand, she holds a piece of fruit, while her left hand delicately grasps what seems to be a small treat or object, potentially for the parrot at her side. The presence of the parrot, perched comfortably on the stand to her right, adds a vibrant touch of life and color to the composition, establishing a connection between the bird and the human subject. The parrot’s grey and white feathers provide a subtle contrast to the outfit of the woman, while its attentive posture suggests a kind of silent communication between the two.

The overall effect of the artwork is one of quiet harmony and restrained elegance, characteristic of Manet’s ability to infuse his portraits with psychological depth and nuanced relationships between figures and their environment. The painting explores themes of companionship and the tamed natural world, common for the era, yet it does so with an understated sophistication that invites contemplation.

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