Her lamentable popular obscurity is attributable in no small part to her untimely death. Gonzalès died during childbirth in 1883, just a few days after the death of Manet. Unwilling to exhibit with the Impressionists, she stayed the course in the salons with her maître and achieved significant critical acclaim despite her lack of popularity in the eyes of the public. The continued rediscovery of Gonzalès's skillful hand places her in the pantheon of female Impressionists alongside Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, while the quality of her work links her to many more masters of the era.
Manet was undeniably the single greatest influence on Gonzalès' artistic style. The present work, with its gloriously staccato-like brushwork and closely cropped composition, is not without affinity to his celebrated late still lifes which were painted concurrently (see fig. 1). Gonzalès was championed by the likes of Émile Zola, who referred to her as the "naturalist artist of our times" (quoted in “Lettres Parisiennes” in La Cloche, May 12, 1872, p. 2, translated from the French), and the critic Jules Clarétie, who wrote of Gonzalès as "an artist of rare talent, who takes the brush after having handled pastel like Rosalba" (Jules Clarétie, Peintres et Sculpteurs Contemporains, Paris, 1874, p. 263, translated from the French).
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