Édouard Manet - Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire's Mistress, Reclining 1862

A boy with a pitcher 1862 Guitar and Hat 1862 Gypsy with a Cigarette 1862 Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire's Mistress, Reclining 1862 Lola de Valence 1862 Music in the Tuileries Garden 1862 Oysters 1862
Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire's Mistress, Reclining 1862

Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire's Mistress, Reclining. Lady with a Fan 1862
90x113cm oil/canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

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From Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest:
Charles Baudelaire, the extraordinary poet who trod the path between Romanticism and Symbolism, met the mulatto actress Jeanne Duval in 1842. "Sorceress with the ebony thighs, child of black midnights," he apostrophized her in one of his finest poems. Their liaison lasted a good ten years, but Baudelaire continued to support Duval, who was paralysed in one leg. Manet painted this "Black Venus" in 1862, at the peak of his career as a painter. The composition of the picture is not linked to prototypes, and Manet designed it masterfully. The canvas is dominated by the enormous crinoline, striped white on white, which seems to have a life of its own. The right hand resting on the curved sofa is counterpoised by the foot peeping out from under the skirt, whose emphatic positioning may refer to the tragic illness. The enchanting lace curtain in the background appears as though an arched proscenium around the haggard face of the fated, sick actress.