Édouard Manet - Portrait of Georges Clemenceau 1879

Portrait of Berthe Morisot 1879 Portrait of Emilie Ambre in role of Carmen 1879 Portrait of George Moore 1879 Portrait of Georges Clemenceau 1879 Portrait of Mademoiselle Isabelle Lemonnier 1879 Portrait of Monsieur Brun 1879 Self Portrait with a Palette 1879
Portrait of Georges Clemenceau 1879

Portrait of Georges Clemenceau 1879
94x74cm oil/canvas
Museum d'Orsay, Paris, France

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From Museum d'Orsay, Paris:
"Manet's portrait of me? Terrible, I do not have it and do not feel the worse for it. It is in the Louvre, and I wonder why it was put there". These final comments on the painting were made late in Clemenceau's life. However, of all the portraits of Clemenceau, few radiate such strength and assurance.
Finding it difficult to get his model to pose, Manet probably used a photograph, no doubt the one taken by Wilhem Benque dating from 1876 in which the politician is depicted standing with his arms similarly folded. The painter may well have also used a small photo of Clemenceau's head from an album belonging to the Manet family now kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Here the artist captures in paint all the allusive qualities of his pen and ink drawings and paintings from this time. With a few Japanese-style dashes and outlines, he succeeds in expressing all the energy, determination, steeliness and the humour of Clemenceau.