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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Manet’s etching of Charles Baudelaire, 1885

Édouard Manet (1832–83)
“Portrait Charles Baudelaire” or “‘Portrait Charles Baudelaire, de face” after Félix Nadar (1820–1910), 1865, published in Charles Asselineau's book, "Charles Baudelaire, sa Vie et son Oeuvre” (Paris, 1869). This impression is from a later edition published by Lemerre.
Etching (with aquatint?) on cream wove paper
Size: (sheet) 25 x 23 cm; (plate) 9.6 x 8.2 cm
State: iv (of iv)
Inscribed in the plate with the artist’s signature (lower right) “Manet”; (lower left) “Peint et Gravé par Manet 1865”; (lower right) “Imp. A. Salmon.”

Harris 61 (Jean C. Harris, “Edouard Manet: Graphic Works: A Definitive Catalogue Raisonne”, New York, Collectors Edition, 1970)

Condition: posthumous impression in flawless condition.

I am selling this original etching—an impression taken from the original plate but printed posthumously—by Manet for a total cost of AU$172 (currently US$132.38/EUR119.78/GBP106.62 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world
If you are interested in purchasing this posthumous but genuine Manet etching in flawless condition, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold

Sometimes the quality of an artist is revealed by the way that the artist portrays shadows. The reason that I mention this very questionable tool of assessment is because I have just been studying how Manet has constructed the dark background behind this portrait of the famous French poet, Baudelaire (1821–67). At first glance the shadowy background may seem like a complicated matrix of lines. On closer examination, however, the sensitivity of Manet’s approach may be seen. For instance, although I see that most of the strokes are laid either horizontally or vertically and intersect to produce a broad spread of dense dark, layered on top of these intersecting lines are other groupings of lines aligned so that they visually echo the silhouette shape of Baudelaire’s head. In fact, the more I look into the dark mass of the background the more subtlety I see of rhythms within the dark.