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Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire's Mistress, Reclining (Lady with a Fan)

Edouard Manet

Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire's Mistress, Reclining (Lady with a Fan)

Edouard Manet
  • Date: 1862; Paris, France 
  • Style: Realism
  • Genre: portrait
  • Media: oil, canvas
  • Tag: famous-people, female-portraits, Jeanne-Duval
  • Dimensions: 90 x 113 cm
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The influence of Spanish painting, primarily of Velázquez and Goya, on Manet’s pictures painted in the early 1860s is striking. This portrait, painted in 1862, depicts Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire’s mulatto mistress. Manet met the poet at the end of the 1850s, and was profoundly influenced by his artistic principles. The composition follows the then fashionable patterns of portrait­ure, but its strident tone had a provocative effect on the prevailing taste. The slightly stiff posture and the rough facial features show the “Black Venus” worn down by illness: she had been suffering from polio for years. The master was experimenting with the composition as it is demonstrated by a preliminary study in watercolour in the Kunsthalle, Bremen.

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