Lot 46
  • 46

Edouard Manet

1,200,000 - 2,200,000 GBP
1,685,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Vue prise de la Place Clichy
  • oil on canvas


Estate of the artist

Gustave Geffroy, Paris

Eugène Blot, Paris (sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 9th-10th May 1900, lot 109)

Eugène Blot, Paris (purchased at the above sale)

Gaston Bernheim, Paris (a gift from the above in May 1900)

Adams Brothers, London

Captain Richard A. Peto, London & Bembridge, Isle of Wight (acquired by 1951)

Mrs Rosemary Peto, London (widow of the above; acquired in 1963)

Private Collection, Paris

Alain de Leseleuc, Geneva (acquired by 1975)

Private Collection (by descent from the above)

Dickinson, London

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007


London, Arts Council of Great Britain, French Paintings. A Second Selection from Mr Peto's Collection, 1951, no. 15 (titled A Street)

Plymouth, City Art Gallery, French Impressionists and English Paintings and Sculptures from the Peto Collection, 1960, no. 45

Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano, Manet, 2005-06, no. 118, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Théodore Duret, Histoire d'Edouard Manet et de son œuvre, avec un catalogue des peintures et des pastels, Paris, 1902, no. 233, catalogued p. 251

Adolphe Tabarant, Manet, Histoire catalographique, Paris, 1931, no. 169 (titled Une Rue and as dating from 1871)

Paul Jamot & Georges Wildenstein, Manet, Paris, 1932, vol. I, no. 301, catalogued p. 158; vol. II, fig. 447, illustrated p. 214 (titled Vue prise près de la Place Clichy)

Robert Rey, Manet, London & Toronto, 1938, illustrated p. 130 (titled A Street and as dating from 1871)

Adolphe Tabarant, Manet et ses œuvres, Paris, 1947, no. 183, discussed pp. 193-194; illustrated p. 608 (titled Une rue and as dating from 1871)

Sandra Orienti & Marcello Venturi, L'opera pittorica di Edouard Manet, Milan, 1967, no. 154, illustrated p. 100

Denis Rouart & Sandra Orienti, Tout l'œuvre peint d'Edouard Manet, Paris, 1970, no. 154, illustrated p. 100 (titled Une rue)

Germain Bazin, Edouard Manet, Milan, 1972, illustrated in colour p. 57

Denis Rouart & Daniel Wildenstein, Edouard Manet, Catalogue raisonné, Lausanne & Paris, 1975, vol. I, no. 273, illustrated p. 221

Catalogue Note

In July 1878 Manet was forced to leave his studio at 4 Rue de Saint-Pétersbourg at the foot of Montmartre, and moved to a new studio nearby, at 70 Rue d’Amsterdam, where he stayed until the following year. The window of his studio at Rue de Saint-Pétersbourg offered a view of Rue Mosnier, newly laid out at the time Manet depicted several views of it (fig. 1), some with the flags that were displayed throughout Paris on 30th June 1878 for the Exposition Universelle, a spectacle also depicted by Monet (fig. 2). Whichever of the two studios Manet occupied at the time he painted the present oil, the Place de Clichy was only at a short distance down the street, and a view depicted here is one that the artist would have often witnessed. The relatively small format of the canvas and the quick, spontaneous technique with which he applied his pigments, suggest that this scene would have been painted in situ, as Manet observed his fellow citizens going about their activities in a busy city square.

Discussing Manet’s street scenes executed in 1878, Françoise Cachin wrote: ‘In technique and subject matter, Manet is here very close to the Impressionists. Monet had painted a series of Parisian scenes in 1867 and 1873. But as in Pissarro’s Boulevards of the [1890s], Monet’s point of view is higher, with a panorama effect, an indistinct bustle of humanity far below, and an opening to the sky above; or else it is at ground level, the sky even more predominant but the passersby not more clearly discernible. With Manet […], the emphasis is on the human figures, more individualized, caught in mid-step. […] For Manet, the street was not an element of cityscape but a locus of city life’ (F. Cachin in Manet (exhibition catalogue), Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris & The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1983, pp. 397-398).

In Vue prise de la Place Clichy, as in Manet’s other city scenes, the street is populated with men and women going about their daily business. They are executed in quick, short brushstrokes, giving them a sense of pace and movement. The narrow format of the canvas accentuates the vertical organisation of the composition, with the buildings and a central tree rising above the city dwellers and a small portion of the sky visible at the top. As Cachin has argued, Manet avoided showing much of the sky in his Parisian city scenes as he sought to emphasise human activity, rather than a landscape, as the main focus of his art. ‘For Manet – spectator, flâneur, confirmed city dweller – Paris was never scenery but was a place of life, of involvement, of wonder’ (ibid., p. 398).

The present work remained in Manet’s possession until his death in 1883. Having then belonged to Gustave Geffroy, the French journalist, art critic and one of the first historians of the Impressionist movement, the work was acquired by the artist and collector of Impressionist paintings Eugène Blot. Vue prise de la Place Clichy was included in the auction of Blot’s collection held in Paris in May 1900 (albeit with the erroneous title Rue à Bayonne), however Blot bought this work back and presented it as a gift to Gaston Bernheim, in memory of the sale. The earliest recorded exhibitions of this work were held in the United Kingdom, as part of the collection of Captain Richard A. Peto.