Avant-Garde Ladies
Victorine Meurent

Victorine Meurent was a painter, but is better known today as Manet's favorite model. Art historians have long held that she was a prostitute, who had a casual sexual relationship with Manet and who died of alcoholism at a young age. The truth is, Meurent exhibited in six Salons, some of which Manet's work was rejected. As well, it is unlikely that she ever slept with Manet, as he died in his 50s from Syphillis, which was then uncurable, and she lived over 20 years with a woman. Victorine continued to paint throughout her life until her death at the age of 83.

Essay 2 Due on Blackboard!
Edouard Manet, Victorine Meurent in the
Costume of an Espada, 1862.











Edmonia Lewis, The Death of Cleopatra, 1876.











Edmonia Lewis, Death of Cleopatra (scale and detail), 1876.












William Wetmore Story, Cleopatra, 1869.
Edmonia Lewis, The Death of Cleopatra, 1876.











Death of Cleopatra

Artemisia Gentileschi, Cleopatra, date unknown.
Reginald Arthur, Death of Cleopatra, c. 1914.











Adolphe William Bougureau, Nymphs and Satyr, 1873.
Cabanel, Nymph and Satyr, 1860.











Realism = art style that sought to counter the idealized subject matter of Academic painting with direct and frank views of everyday life
  • Based on the idea that ordinary people and everyday activities are worthy subjects for art
  • Strove to depict ordinary existence without Classic idealism, exoticism or nostalgia
  • Insisted on precise imitation of visual perceptions without alteration
Gustave Courbet, The Stone Breakers, 1849 (destroyed during World War II).  8 1/2' X 5' 3".










The Horse Fair

Rosa Bonheur, The Horse Fair, 1853.











Rosa Bonheur, The Highland Raid, 1860. 











"I was forced to recognize that the clothing of my sex was a constant bother. That is why I decided to solicit the authorization to wear men's clothing from the prefect of police." - Bonheur

Rosa and Natalie

Rosa Bonheur in pants
Rosa Bonheur and Nathalie Micas











Rosa Bonheur, Oxen Pulling a Cart, date unknown.













Luncheon on the Grass

Edouard Manet, Luncheon on the Grass (Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe), 1863.