Lot 31
  • 31

Édouard Manet

1,800,000 - 2,500,000 USD
4,292,400 USD
bidding is closed


  • Édouard Manet
  • Profil de jeune fille 
  • Oil on canvas


Estate of the artist (sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 4-5, 1884, lot 25)

Mme Suzanne Manet, Paris (acquired at the above sale)

Ambroise Vollard, Paris

Eugène Blot, Paris (acquired from the above by 1902)

Galerie Barbazanges, Paris (acquired from the above circa 1912)

Tryggve Sagen, Oslo (acquired by 1922)

David David-Weill, Paris & New York (acquired by 1932)

Private Collection, Paris (by descent from the above)

Galerie Schmit, Paris (acquired from the above in 1983)

Acquired from the above circa 1983


Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, La Libre Esthétique: Exposition des peintres impressionnistes, 1904, no. 83 (titled Portrait de jeune fille)

Paris, Galerie Eugène Blot, Exposition de cent vingt tableautins, 1907, no. 57

Paris, Grand Palais, Salon d'Automne: Portraits du XIXe siècle, 1912, no. 152 (titled Jeune Fille

Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek; Stockholm, Nationalmuseum & Oslo, Nasjonalmuseet, Édouard Manet 1832-1883, 1922, no. 24

Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie des Tuileries, Exposition Manet, 1832-1883, 1932, no. 71 (titled Portrait de Mlle André)

Paris, Galerie Schmit, Les Impressionnistes et leurs précurseurs, 1972, no. 42, illustrated in color in the catalogue (titled Portrait de Mademoiselle Ellen Andrée)

Paris, Galerie Schmit, Choix d’un amateur, XIXe-XXe siècles, 1977, no. 46, illustrated in color in the catalogue (titled Portrait de Mademoiselle Ellen Andrée)

Paris, Galerie Schmit, Lumières sur la peinture XIXe-XXe siècles, 1983, no. 52, illustrated in color in the catalogue 

London, The Lefevre Gallery, Important XIX & XX Century Works of Art, 1983, no. 8, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Dallas, The Dallas Museum of Art, Impressionist and Modern Masters in Dallas: Monet to Mondrian, 1989, no. 50, illustrated in color in the catalogue (titled Profile of a Young Woman)

Washington D.C., The Phillips Collection, Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party, 2017-18, no. 14, illustrated in color in the catalogue (titled Portrait d'une jeune femme - mademoiselle Ellen Andrée)


Théodore Duret, Histoire d'Édouard Manet et de son oeuvre, Paris, 1902, no. 276, listed p. 264

Julius Meier-Graefe, Édouard Manet, Munich, 1912, no. 25, mentioned p. 320

Théodore Duret, Histoire d'Édouard Manet et de son oeuvre, Paris, 1919, no. 276, listed p. 264 

Étienne Moreau-Nélaton, Catalogue général, manuscrit de l'œuvre de Manet [unpublished manuscript], 1926, no. 253

Adolphe Tabarant, Manet, histoire catalographique, Paris, 1931, no. 327, listed p. 376 (titled Jeune fille assise)

Paul Jamot & Georges Wildenstein, Manet, Paris, 1932, vol. I, listed no. 342; vol. II, illustrated p. 60

Eugène Blot, Histoire d’une collection de tableaux modernes, Paris, 1934, mentioned p. 58 (titled Femme assise)

Adolphe Tabarant, Manet et ses oeuvres, Paris, 1947, no. 351, illustrated p. 614

Phoebe Pool & Sandra Orienti, The Complete Paintings of Manet, London, 1967, no. 312, illustrated p. 113

Marcello Venturi & Sandra Orienti, L’Opera pittorica di Édouard Manet, Milan, 1967, no. 312, illustrated p. 113 (titled Ragazza seduta)

Merete Bodelsen, "Early Impressionist Sales, 1874-1894, in Light of Some Unpublished 'Procès-Verbaux'" in The Burlington Magazine, June 1968, no. 25, mentioned p. 343

Denis Rouart & Sandra Orienti, Tout l'oeuvre peint d'Édouard Manet, Paris, 1970, no. 316, illustrated p. 113 (titled Jeune fille assise)

Denis Rouart & Daniel Wildenstein, Édouard Manet, Catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, 1975, vol. I, no. 339, illustrated p. 261

Barbara Ehrlich White, Impressionists Side by Side: Their Friendships, Rivalries and Artistic Exchanges, New York, 1996, n.n., illustrated in color p. 55 (titled Ellen Andrée)

Catalogue Note

A towering figure in the second half of the nineteenth century, Édouard Manet was a serious and dedicated artist strongly committed to his artistic practices, and, particularly to his portraiture, transforming his medium into a record of contemporary life. Throughout his lifetime, Manet surrounded himself with a wide circle of friends, admirers and supporters, who inevitably found their way into his canvases, both in straight forward portraits or as actors in scenes from modern day Paris. He insisted that these acquaintances, family and occasionally professional models endure prolonged and frequent sittings while he captured their essence on canvas, leaving a rich legacy of innovative portraits in his wake.

Manet threw himself into the challenge of finding subjects, compositional formats and painting techniques that would provide a new language of art suitable for the representation of modernity and contemporary life. In Profil de jeune fille we see this desire manifested with particular strength in the tight, avant-garde framing and strong illumination of the figure. Coupled with the brilliant painting technique of animated, varied strokes of vibrant colors which he transferred to the canvas with seeming spontaneity and deference, the intimate character of the sitter has been uncovered. It is clear from the subtle characteristics of this young woman that Manet knew his model firsthand, having spent long hours in her company. The sitter of the present work has variously been identified by scholars as Ellen Andrée, the model-turned-actress featured in a number of Impressionist works, and Ellen André, daughter of fellow artist Edmond Alphonse André, a friend of Manet. The near-identical spelling of their last names, not to mention their similar physical appearance has led to continued uncertainty about the identity of the young subject. Though somewhat ambiguous, an examination of each attribution offers exciting insight into Manet's portraiture practice, demonstrating the ways in which Profil de jeune fille is a reflection of the artist's time, the city in which he lived and the inhabitants he encountered there.

Ellen Andrée (born Hélène Andrée) was a young ingénue of barely twenty when she embarked on a career as an artist’s model and joined the circle of cultural personalities of the Parisian café crowd. It was here that she was introduced to the painters Degas, Renoir and Manet and ultimately would appear in a number of significant Impressionist paintings in the 1870s and early 1880s. It has been proposed that a number of the features of the woman in the right foreground of Renoir’s celebrated Le Déjeuner des canotiers resemble those of Ellen Andrée and she most famously served as the model for the dissolute figure in Degas’ L’Absinthe, whose expressionless features and vacant stare perhaps suggests her future success as a genre actress. The young model began posing for Manet in the early 1870s, about the same time she sat for Degas, and looking back many years later on the experience of serving as an artist’s model said, “I was pretty good, I can say so now; I had a look that the Impressionists considered very modern, sexy, and I held the pose they wanted.” On the subject of Manet she is reported to have said, “Of all those painters, he was the only one I looked up to. I remember noticing he painted standing up, whereas his friends all sat. He was engrossed, courteous, distant. He was so high class! I felt so inferior in that studio on the rue d’Amsterdam. A really exceptional man” (quoted in A. Tabarant, “Des Peintres et leur modèles” in Bulletin de la Vie Artistique, May 1, 1921, pp. 261-63, reproduced in B. A. Brombert, Edouard Mantet: Rebel in a Frock Coat, New York, 1996, p. 383). Andrée has become recognizable as one of Manet’s female figures noted for their particular character and features, sitting for Manet’s works La Parisienne, Dans le Café, possibly La Prune and the present work. She would ultimately abandon modeling for a successful stage career in vaudeville and pantomime, where her skill in mimicry and strong presence on stage, much as in her portraits, was celebrated.

Alternatively, it has been speculated that the young woman who sat for Profil de jeune fille could be the daughter of the painter Edmond Alphonse André, Ellen André, a habitué of Café Guerbois and friend of Manet. According to the Wildenstein and Rouart catalogue entry, in 1873 Edmond André posed for Manet’s four versions of the notorious Commedia dell’Arte character Polichinelle. Although little is known about the life of André’s daughter, as the child of a friend and former subject and therefore likely also an acquaintance, her presence as the object of study for Manet is consistent within the scope of Manet’s portraiture practice. Given the strong physical resemblance of the two women, as well as the remarkable similarity in their names, confusion about the identity of the sitter for the present work endures.

Since very few of Manet’s extensive number of portraits produced were commissions, but rather invitations from the artist to act as a subject in his works, the restrictive parameters of commercial portraits have been removed allowing the artist greater flexibility towards experimentation. As with many portraits from Manet’s oeuvre, the present work remained unsigned and was kept in his collection until his death, later to be sold at the 1884 Vente Manet at Hôtel Drouot. Profil de jeune femme was among a select number of paintings that was purchased by a member of the Manet family. The work eventually became part of the illustrious personal collection of French-American banker David David-Weill. In 1939 David-Weill charged his curator Marcelle Minet with the task of preparing an inventory of his magnificent art collection and crating the bulk of it in order to save it from the feared Nazi invasion of France. The most important and valuable pieces in the collection were sent directly to the United States, including the present work. A further 130 crates were sent for safe keeping—unsuccessfully as it turned out—with the French National Art collections at the Château de Sourches and 22 crates to the Château de Mareil-le-Guyon. The present work remained in the David-Weill family until the 1980s but still bears the 1939 crate and inventory numbers, 45 and DW 30/89 respectively, on its stretcher and frame.