54
54

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN COLLECTION

Édouard Manet
POLICHINELLE
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 3,525,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
54

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN COLLECTION

Édouard Manet
POLICHINELLE
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 3,525,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Édouard Manet
1832-1883
POLICHINELLE
Signed Manet (lower left)
Oil on canvas
19 7/8 by 13 in.
50.5 by 32.8 cm
Painted in 1873.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Jean-Baptiste Faure, Paris (acquired from the artist in 1873)

Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 29, 1878, lot 41

Mme. Martinet, Paris (acquired from the above sale and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 8, 1893, lot 46)

Claude Lafontaine, Paris (acquired from the above sale)

Auguste Pellerin, Paris (acquired from the above sale and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 7, 1926, lot 64)

Jos Hessel, Paris

Auguste Pellerin Collection, Paris (Sold: Christie’s, New York, November 8, 1999, lot 136)

Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Exposition d’Oeurves de Manet au Profit des “Amis du Luxembourg,” April-May 1928

Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Manet, 1996, no. 44 illustrated in color p. 104

Literature

Fervacques, "Visite à l'atelier de Manet," Le Figaro, Paris, December 25, 1873

Joséphin Péladan, "Le Procédé de Manet d'aprés l'Exposition faite à l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts," L'Artiste, Paris, February 1884, p. 114

Théodore Duret, Histoire d'Edouard Manet et de son oeuvre par Théodore Duret, avec un catalogue des peintures et des pastels, Paris, 1902, no. 168

Jules Meier-Graefe, Edouard Manet, Munich, 1912, p. 218

Adolphe Tabarant, "Une Histoire inconnue du Polichinelle," Bulletin de la vie artistique, Paris, September 1,1923, p. 366

Étienne Moreau-Nélaton, Manet raconté par lui-même, Paris, 1926, vol. II, pp. 7-10, illustrated fig. 177

Georges Bazin, "Manet et la tradition," L'Amour de l'Art, Paris, May 1932, illustrated p. 155

Paul Jamot & Georges Wildenstein, Manet, vol. II, Paris, 1932, no. 216, illustrated p. 24

Lionello Venturi, Les archives de l'impressionnisme, Paris, 1939, vol. II, p. 205

Adolphe Tabarant, Manet et ses oeuvres, Paris, 1947, no. 220, pp. 234-235

Michel Florisoone, Manet, Monaco, 1947, pp. XV and XXI

George Heard Hamilton, Manet and His Critics, New Haven, 1954, pp. 176, 179-180 and 209

Bernard Dorival, "Meissonier et Manet," Art de France, Paris, 1962, no. 2, illustrated p. 222

Phoebe Pool & Sandra Orienti, The Complete Paintings of Manet, New York, 1967, no. 188B illustrated p. 103 

Denis Rouart & Sandra Orienti, Tout l'oeuvre peint d'Edouard Manet, Paris, 1970, no. 190b, illustrated

Denis Rouart & Daniel Wildenstein, Edouard Manet, Catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, 1975, vol. I, no. 213 illustrated p. 179

Theodore Reff, Manet and Modern Paris: One Hundred Paintings, Drawings, Prints, and Photographs by Manet and His Contemporaries, (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1982, p. 124

Catalogue Note

Among Manet’s scenes of modern life, still-lifes and society portraits, there are a number of extraordinary works which cannot be simply categorized as portraits, but in which the role of the sitter is elevated to a personification of artistic expression. Painted in 1873, Polichinelle’s florid features and gaudy costume joined a cast of characters who captivated Manet throughout his career, such as Le fifre, Lola de Valance and L’actor tragique. As discussed by Juliet Bareau-Wilson in the catalogue for the exhibition these works found their precedent and inspiration in the works of the Spanish Masters: “The impact of Velázquez on the art of Edouard Manet was profound.” Velázquez was, according to Manet ‘a painter’s painter’, and Manet was influenced  in both his style and subject-matter from “the beginning of the 1860s by what he saw as the master’s bold and simple handling of clean, colourful pigments and by his way of placing figures on a canvas” (J. Wilson-Bareau, in Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting (exhibition catalogue), Musée d’Orsay, Paris, 2003, p. 203).

From typically Spanish subjects, such as Matadors and Majas, Manet went on to use this template to engage with more native and contemporary subjects. In these works the artist sometimes substituted or sublimated the actual profession and character of the model with a different identity, thus Le fifre may have been alternately posed for by a musician of the Imperial Gaurd, Léon Leenhof or Victorine Meurent. In the Wildenstein and Roaurt catalogue entry on the present work they state that it was the painter Edmond André who posed for Manet. André was an habitué of the Café Guerbois, where Manet chose to spend much of his time.

In 1973 Léon Duchemin saw the present work during a visit to Manet’s studio, and went on to write about it (under the nom de plume Fervacques) for Le Figaro: “On the walls hang some of the painter’s finest works. Firstly the famous Déjeuner sur l’herbe rejected by the jury who, foolishly, have failed to understand that it showed, not a nude woman, but a woman undressed, which is something different. The paintings, exhibited at different periods: La leçon de musique, Le balcon, La belle Olympia… Then, a Marine, a sketch of two women seated in open fields, with a nearby village, a portrait of a woman and an exquisite Polichinelle, in a very jaunty pose. While we were admiring this painting, so viciously attacked and yet so full of talent, Manet painted a watercolor of another Polichinelle, who poses in the middle of the studio, dressed in his charming and traditional costume. It is enlivened with a delicate, colourful and spiritual touch” (Fervacques, op. cit. Translated from the French).

Manet painted a sketch for the present work, as well as the aforementioned watercolor, and included Polichinelle in his 1873 work Le bal de l’opera. However, as Ronald Pickvance remarks in his catalogue entry on the present work, “these were not Manet’s first images of Polichinelle, the notorious character from the commedia dell’arte, traditionally grotesque and deceitful. Manet first used the head of Polichinelle in 1862 for one of his frontispiece etchings’ (R. Pickvance, in Manet (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1996, p. 231). These portrayals of Polichinelle - appropriate to the jester’s mischievous personality – became notorious after the publication of his seven-coloured lithograph in 1874. The first edition was supposed to be sent to the 8,000 subscribers of the republican newspaper Le Temps. However over 1,500 of these were destroyed and the lithographic stone confiscated by the police. Theodore Reff has suggested the figure and his features bore a remarkable resemblance to the reactionary General and recently elected President of the Republic, Maréchal Patrice de MacMahon. “His stance is indeed that of a general inspecting his troops, and the bat he holds behind his back may allude to ‘Maréchal Baton’, MacMahon’s nickname, just as the bicorned hat he wears en bataillon may have Napoleonic connotations’ (T. Reff, Manet and Modern Paris, Chicago & London, 1982, p. 124).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York