TABLE OF CONTENTS

Manet’s Sources: Aspects of his Art, 1859–1865

I

IF A SINGLE QUESTION is guiding for our understanding of Manet’s art during the first half of the 1860s, it is this: What are we to make of the numerous references in his paintings of those years to the work of the great painters of the past? A few of Manet’s historically aware contemporaries recognized explicit references to past art in some of his important pictures of that period;1 and by the time he died his admirers tended to play down the paintings of the first half of the sixties, if not of the entire decade, largely because of what had come to seem their overall dependence on the Old Masters.2 By 1912 Blanche could claim, in a kind of hyperbole, that it was impossible to find two paintings in Manet’s oeuvre that had not been inspired by other paintings, old or modern.3 But it has been chiefly since the retrospective exhibition of 1932 that historians investigating the sources of

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