Lot 44
  • 44

Édouard Manet

1,500,000 - 2,500,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Édouard Manet
  • Jeune homme en costume de toréador
  • Signed éd. Manet (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas


Isidore Montaignac, Paris

Paul Hermann Heilbuth, Copenhagen

V. Winkel & Magnussen, Copenhagen (acquired from the above and sold: American Art Association, New York, April 6, 1922, lot 18)

J. Hudson, New York (acquired from the above sale)

Josef Stransky, New York (acquired by 1931)

Mr & Mrs. Carleton Mitchell, Maryland (acquired by 1951 and until at least 1970)

Sale: Christie's, New York, May 13, 1993, lot 108

Acquired at the above sale


New York, P. Jackson Higgs, An Important and Interesting Collection of Paintings, 1922, n.n.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Museum, Manet et Renoir, 1933-34, n.n.

Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art, From Ingres to Gauguin: French Nineteenth Century Paintings Owned in Maryland, 1951, no. 93, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Girl in the Costume of a Toreador, with incorrect dimensions and dated circa 1860-62)

Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art, 1953 (on loan)

Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art, Manet, Degas, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, 1962, no. 2 (titled Girl in the Costume of a Toreador, with incorrect dimensions and dated circa 1860-62)

Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art, Exhibition of Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum and Private Collections, 1963, n.n.

Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano, Manet, 2005-06, no. 35, illustrated in color in the catalogue


Théodore Duret, Histoire d'Édouard Manet et de son oeuvre, Paris, 1919, supplement no. 3, listed p. 299 (titled Jeune femme en costume de toreador and with incorrect dimensions)

Ralph Flint, "The Private Collection of Joseph Stransky" in Art News, New York, May 16, 1931, illustrated in color p. 93 (titled Jeune femme en costume de toréador)

Paul Jamot & Georges Wildenstein, Manet, Paris, 1932, vol. I, listed no. 49; vol II, illustrated p. 24 (titled Jeune femme en costume de toréador)

Daniel Catton Rich, "The Spanish Background for Manet's Early Work" in Parnassus, New York, 1932, illustrated p. 5 (titled Sketch of Young Woman in the Costume of a Toreador)

Gotthard Jedlicka, Édouard Manet, Zurich, 1941, mentioned p. 85

Adolphe Tabarant, Manet et ses oeuvres, Paris, 1947, no. 56, illustrated p. 603 (with incorrect dimensions)

Jacques de Caso, "Una fuente del Hispanismo de Manet" in Goya, 1965, illustrated p. 94 (titled Joven en trame de torero)

Phoebe Pool & Sandra Orienti, The Complete Paintings of Manet, London, 1967, no. 52, illustrated p. 91 (titled Jeune femme en costume de Toréador)

Marcello Venturi & Sandra Orienti, L’Opera pittorica di Édouard Manet, Milan, 1967, no. 52, illustrated p. 91 (titled Giovane donna in costume di Torero)

Jacques de Caso, "Une source de l'hispanisme de Manet" in Bulletin de la Société d'Études pour la Connaissance d'Édouard Manet, Paris, 1968, illustrated p. 10

Denis Rouart & Sandra Orienti, Tout l'oeuvre peint d'Édouard Manet, Paris, 1970, no. 51, illustrated p. 91 (titled Jeune femme en costume de toreador)

Denis Rouart & Daniel Wildenstein, Édouard Manet, Catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, 1975, vol. I, no. 56, illustrated p. 67

Françoise Cachin, Manet, Paris, 1990, illustrated p. 149 (titled Jeune femme en costume de toréador)

Mario Bois, Manet: Tauromachies et autres, thèmes espagnols, Paris, 1994, illustrated p. 88

Denise Bonnaffoux, Images d'Espagne en France au détour d'un siècle (XIXe-XXe), Provence, 1999, mentioned p. 109

Nancy Locke, Manet & the Family Romance, Princeton & Oxford, 2001, illustrated p. 128

Catalogue Note

An exceptional example of Manet’s early Spanish period, Jeune homme en costume de toreador is an assemblage of colorful and stylish details executed with a heightened sense of realism. It is an extraordinary work that cannot be categorized as a portrait, but rather as a personification of the engagement of a people with the foreign and spectacular. Much like the whole of nineteenth-century France whose collective imagination was preoccupied with all things Spanish, Manet developed a fascination with Iberian culture and art as a young man. The exposure to Spanish paintings acquired by King Louis-Phillipe in the Galerie Espagnole of the Louvre left an indelible impression on the French people whose espagnolisme and thirst for Spanish painting caused a shift in taste, perceptible in the altered style and subjects displayed at the annual Paris Salon by the 1860s. As a young man Manet had the opportunity to study a few of the Spanish masters in the French institutions, with great interest in Goya and Velázquez. The early exposure to these works from the Spanish Golden Age were fundamental in Manet’s development as a painter: “The years during which he absorbed the art of Spain are Manet’s most vital.…Velasquez and Ribera taught him a method of painting more vigorous and more final then he had learned with [Thomas] Coutour; Goya dictated fresh design; the Spanish costumes and figures suggested color harmonies and poses unusual to French art....it is essentially Manet’s feeling for strong and vivid decoration in the Spanish phase….that leads on to the barbaric stylizations of Gauguin and the oriental arabesques of Matisse” (D. Catton Rich, Op. cit., pp. 4-5).

Developed over centuries the corrida or bullfight is synonymous with Spain. More than the combination of contest and high drama, the bullfight contains elements of ritual, spectacle and, above all, pageantry. The enthralling and emotionally engaging aspects of the battle occupied the minds of native-born artists and foreign painters alike. Manet would only make the pilgrimage to Spain once, in 1865, though he completed more than a dozen works featuring Spanish subjects in the early 1860s, including Jeune homme en costume de toreador. For inspiration for these early works Manet relied heavily upon the Spanish paintings in French institutions, Spanish dancers and musicians performing in and around Paris, an assortment of Spanish costumes he acquired for his studio, and a series of prints from various publications. Jeune homme en costume de toreador is derived from a lithograph by the French painter and curator of prints and drawings at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Achille Devéria, which appeared in L’Almanach d’Andalousie, published in 1836; it has been speculated by scholars that Manet also adapted some early sketches for his controversial painting Olympia from the poses found in Devéria’s lithographic studies. While Devéria and Manet’s versions share noticeable compositional similarities, the present work reflects Manet’s keen visual sensitivity and manual dexterity where the artist enlisted subtle changes in the depiction of the toreador. The figure, removed from the bullring, has become a spectacle of costume, executed with vivid swathes of flat color outlined in black that brings an undeniable freshness to the work. Interestingly Manet never painted the dramatic and violent climax of the corrida, as native-born Spanish painter Picasso often chose to illustrate. Instead Manet chose to focus on the spectacle of color, gesture and the romantic vision of the toreador himself.

As discussed by Juliet Bareau-Wilson “The impact of Velázquez on the art of Édouard 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, colorful 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). Primarily impressed by the Spanish master’s atmospheric effects, vivid brushwork and use of an undefined spatial setting, Manet would adopt these tools with greater dedication following his trip to Spain in 1865. Upon his return to Paris, Manet would write to the poet Baudelaire: “At last, my dear Baudelaire, I’ve really come to know Velásquez and I tell you he’s the greatest artist there has ever been; I saw thirty or forty of his canvases in Madrid, portraits and other things, all masterpieces” (quoted in ibid., p. 231). Manet’s subsequent paintings of Spanish subjects following the 1865 trip reflect his continued admiration for seventeenth-century Spanish painting and the influence of the collective hispanophilia of the early nineteenth century on his artistic production.