About this artwork
Using just a few brushstrokes, Manet gave a full sense of this unidentified sitter’s jovial personality. Her amused half-smile may speak to a pleasant exchange between artist and model. This painting offers valuable insight into Manet’s working process. He initially blocked out the figure with dark, painted lines and then moved on to short, precise strokes in the costume and face. Finally, he applied a thinned green wash that was likely the first step toward patterned background, left unfinished.
The woman’s coiffure, a pile of blue-black hair with curly bangs, helps date this work to the late 1870s.
- Édouard Manet
- Portrait of a Woman with a Black Fichu
- Oil on canvas
- 62.2 × 51.2 cm (24 1/2 × 20 1/8 in.)
- Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection