Édouard Manet - Madame Manet on a Blue Sofa 1874

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Madame Manet on a Blue Sofa 1874

Madame Manet on a Blue Sofa 1874
49x60cm pastel on brown paper stuck on canvas
Museum d'Orsay, Paris, France

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From Museum d'Orsay, Paris:
Perhaps influenced by his friend Degas, Manet often used pastels. The liveliness of this technique enabled him here to create an interplay between the fabrics and colours of the white skirt, the bright blue sofa and the russet background. Manet achieves the quality of the most beautiful 18th century intimist pastels by Chardin and Liotard, which have an intensity and bloom that cannot be produced with oil on canvas.
In this portrait, more than in his other paintings of that period, Manet prefers energetic and vivid contrasts, no reflections, and a range of strong colour against the luminous mellow effects of the fabrics.