115
115

THE COLLECTION OF ALEX & ELISABETH LEWYT

Édouard Manet
EN-TÊTE DE LETTRE (TROIS PRUNES)
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 1,265,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
115

THE COLLECTION OF ALEX & ELISABETH LEWYT

Édouard Manet
EN-TÊTE DE LETTRE (TROIS PRUNES)
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 1,265,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Édouard Manet
1832-1883
EN-TÊTE DE LETTRE (TROIS PRUNES)
Signed Ed. Manet and dated 8 oct. 1880 (lower right)
Watercolor and pen and ink on paper
7 1/4 by 5 in.
18.4 by 12.7 cm
Executed on October 8, 1880.
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Provenance

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

Exhibited

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

Catalogue Note

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).

The 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:

Bellevue.
9 Oct 1880.
Ed. Manet

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York