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En-tête de lettre (Trois prunes)
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About the item

In the summer of 1880 Manet rented a small house in bucolic Bellevue, not far from Paris, and set to work on a series of still-life compositions. It was at this time of rest that he began to illustrate letters to friends with flowers and fruit, and his skill at rendering texture in oils was thus transformed by its translation into fresh and spontaneous watercolors. The resulting images of fruit seem to float upon the page, elegantly complementing the artist’s handwriting. Manet frequently gave these still lifes to friends or to people he wished to impress. For example, upon receiving payment from the collector Charles Ephrussi for Une botte d’asperges, the artist sent him as a gift a still life of a single asparagus “to add to the bunch” (Denis Rouart et Daniel Wildenstein, op. cit., no. 357). In this way these gentle yet vibrant images became statements of Manet’s close relationship with their recipients, especially when he embedded them in the form of letters. As George Mauner writes, “these illustrations of flowers and of fruit in watercolor speak, in the end, more than hundreds of words" (translated from the French, Dr George L. Mauner, Manet, les natures mortes (exhibition catalogue), Musée d’Orsay, Paris, 2000, p. 128).\nThe majority of Manet’s letters are in museum collections, and it is extremely rare that they come to the market. While in certain letters the text is more elaborate than in others, the present sheet serves as a delicate, singular marker of time and place:\nBellevue. \n9 Oct 1880.\nEd. Manet\nSigned Ed. Manet and dated 8 oct. 1880 (lower right)
US
NY, US
US

medium

Watercolor and pen and ink on paper

creator

Édouard Manet

condition

Executed on cream-colored laid paper. The colors are extremely bright and fresh. The sheet has been hinged to a mount along the top edge of its verso. The sheet has been slightly time-darkened and mat-stained, and extending below the image is a 1.75-inch margin where faint adhesive stains from a previous mounting are present. There are some very weak foxing spots. The left edge is uneven and a fold line runs down left side just next to image. A tiny hole is near the top of the left border and there is a small repaired tear at the center of this border. Attached to the left edge is a fragment of the adjoining sketchbook sheet from which this sheet was extracted (not counted in the catalogued dimensions). The image area is in very good condtiion. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

7 1/4 by 5 in.

exhibition

Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art & Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Édouard Manet, 1832-1883, 1966-67, no. 186, illustrated in the catalogue Martigny, Switzerland, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Manet, 1996, no. 78, illustrated in color in the catalogue Paris, Musée d'Orsay & Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, Manet: The Still-Life Paintings, 2000-01, no. 47, illustrated in color in the catalogue

literature

Karin V. Maur, "Edmond de Goncourt et les Artistes de la fin du XIXe Siècle," in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, LXXII, Paris, November 1968, p. 226 Alain de Leiris, The Drawings of Édouard Manet, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1969, no. 536, illustrated fig. 398 Denis Rouart & Daniel Wildenstein, Édouard Manet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Lausanne & Paris, 1975, no. 589, illustrated p. 211

provenance

Private Collection, United States Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York (acquired from the above) Acquired from the above in 1954

signedDate

Signed Ed. Manet and dated 8 oct. 1880 (lower right)

time_period

Executed on October 8, 1880.

consignmentDesignation

The Collection of Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt

creator_nationality_dates

1832-1883


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

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