Portrait of Madame Brunet

This portrait's bold brushwork, stark contrasts of light and dark, and frank presentation of the sitter reflect Manet's early passion for seventeenth-century Spanish painting. Madame Brunet, the wife of a friend, rejected the painting on account of its perceived ugliness, however, and the artist retained it in his studio. He eventually cut off the bottom portion of the canvas, reducing it to a three-quarter-length portrait, and displayed it in his one-man exhibition in Paris in 1867--a show of independence opposite the World's Fair, where more polished examples of society portraiture, like James Tissot's Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon (also in the Getty's collection), could be seen.

Oil on canvas (about 1861-1863, reworked by 1867)

by Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883)

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