Portrait of Julien de la Rochenoire
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Édouard Manet
French, 1882
Pastel on canvas
21 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.

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While known as one of the greatest painters in 19th-century France, Édouard Manet was also one of the most innovative pastel artists of his era. Here he depicted the animal painter Julien de la Rochenoire, an old friend who had likely dropped by Manet's studio. Dashing strokes of salmon and black animate the sitter's bewhiskered face, while the swirling background wallpaper evokes his psychological energy. The majority of Manet's surviving pastels are portraits of friends, which accounts for their intimacy of mood and their spontaneous handling of the powdery medium.