Sunday, October 25, 2009

A compassionate offer from Manet...

Manet's early painting, Luncheon on the Grass

From a letter 1875 to the art critic Duret:
"I went to see Monet yesterday. I found him in great distress, and at his wits' end. He asked me if I could find someone who would buy at choice ten or twenty of his paintings at 100 francs each. Do you think that we could fix him up between ourselves, each of us contributing 500 francs? Of course it must be understood that nobody, and he least of all, should know that we are arranging it ourselves."

Manet was not always so tactful or friendly to Claude Monet. When Monet had his first small success at the Salon, everyone congratulated Manet for it (confusing their names) which Manet did not like at all. He was a complex man in every way.

I am indebted for this translation once again to the excellent book The Impressionists at First Hand by Denvir. I owned it many years before the thought dawned on me to write about them.

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