Edouard Manet

Woman with a Cat


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Not on display

Edouard Manet 1832–1883
Original title
La Femme au chat
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 921 × 730 mm
frame: 1070 × 876 × 78 mm
Purchased 1918

Display caption

This unfinished portrait is of Manet's wife. It is one of his later works, painted a few years before his death at the age of fifty-one. These were the most freely painted of his career. He then also used pastel, and the parallel shading of this sketch is like the application of pastels. Manet then favoured small scale and casual subjects.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

Edouard Manet 1832-1883

N03295 La Femme au Chat (Woman with a Cat) c.1880

Not inscribed
Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 28 3/4 (92 x 73)
Purchased at the Degas sale (Special Grant-in-Aid) 1918
Prov: [?Carolus-Duran, Paris]; with Ambroise Vollard, Paris; Edgar Degas, Paris, 1895; sale of the Degas collection, Petit, Paris, 26-27 March 1918, lot 77 repr. as 'La Femme au Chat'
Exh: Manet and his Circle, Tate Gallery, April-June 1954 (17); Edouard Manet 1832-1883, Philadelphia Museum of Art, November-December 1966 (182, repr.); Art Institute of Chicago, January-February 1967 (182, repr.)
Lit: Théodore Duret, Histoire de Edouard Manet et de son Oeuvre (Paris 1926), supplement No. 7, p.300; A. Tabarant, Manet: Histoire Catalographique (Paris 1931), No.412, pp.438-9 (dated 1882-3); Paul Jamot, Georges Wildenstein, Marie-Louise Bataille, Manet (Paris 1932), No.395, p.168, repr. fig.58 (dated 1880); Ambroise Vollard, Recollections of a Picture Dealer (London 1936), p.57; A. Tabarant, Manet et ses Oeuvres (Paris 1947), No.430, pp.459-60, 544, repr. (dated 1882-3); Phoebe Pool and Sandra Orienti, The Complete Paintings of Manet (London 1970), No.409, p.120, repr. (dated 1882); Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein, Edouard Manet: Catalogue raisonné (Lausanne-Paris 1975), Vol.1, No.337, p.260, repr. p.261 (dated 1880)
Repr: Douglas Cooper, Manet (London 1949), pl.XVI in colour

A portrait of the artist's wife (née Suzanne Leenhoff), and sometimes known as 'Portrait of Mme Manet'. According to her son Léon Koëlla, it was painted in the Manets' apartment in the Rue de Saint-Pétersbourg.

Degas recorded in the manuscript catalogue of his collection, now in the possession of Paul and Philippe Brame in Paris, that he obtained this work from Vollard in 1895 in exchange for a pastel ('Par Vollard, par échange de pastel | 1895').

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.475, reproduced p.475

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