Deja Londono

When Édouard Manet finished Mademoiselle V. . . in the Costume of an Espada in 1862 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (Fig. 1), he had already shown several works of the Spanish type. These paintings featured figures dressed in Spanish costume—directly influenced by similar works by 17th century painter Diego Velázquez. While Velázquez’s influence on Manet is often documented, the influence of another Spanish painter is perhaps understated. In his Mademoiselle V. . . in the Costume of an Espada, Édouard Manet refers to the work of Francisco de Goya. Model Victorine Meurent’s pose evokes the composition of Goya’s 1790s Self-Portrait in the Studio (Madrid) (Fig. 2).

The influence of Spanish art can be seen in Manet’s work as early as 1860, including the portrait of his friend and frequent model, Mademoiselle Victorine Meurent. Using some of the same costume pieces from his earlier Spanish Singer, Manet dressed Victorine in Spanish costume, posing her with sword and towel, like a matador, or torero—a role traditionally reserved for men.


Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3.
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Édouard Manet , Mademoiselle V. . . in the Costume of an Espada, 1862)