|Detail of "Olympia" by Edouard Manet, 1863, in Musée d'Orsay|
|Manet, Young Lady, 1866, Metropolitan|
|Manet, The Street Singer, 1862, Boston Museum of Fine Arts|
|Manet, Portrait of Victorine Meurent, 1862, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston|
|Manet, Mlle Victorine in the Costume of an Espada, 1862|
|Victorine Meurent, Palm Sunday, 1885, Musée de l'art et l'histoire, Colombes|
|Manet, Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, 1862-1863, Musée d'Orsay, Paris|
Throughout his career, Manet sought ways to reconcile the ambiguities of his time. Tomorrow will be Manet's 185th birthday, and we're still discussing the treatment of women. So today we witness the women's march on Washington against the backdrop of Donald Trump's Inauguration.
(There's a 19th century French expression: "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" The more things change, the more they stay the same thing.) Please don't get angry at me for saying it again.
Certainly other models, the actresses and actors of Manet's oeuvre, also have the detached gaze. Such impersonal expressions went along with the modern, urban life. (Suzon, the barmaid in The Bar at the Folies-Bergère, says it just as well, or even better. But she came later.) Meurent channeled the expression better than almost anyone over time. As Manet’s first important muse, her soul lives on for posterity.
Here are three more blogs about Victorine Meurent and Manet.