Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Brioche

Artist:
Édouard Manet (French, Paris 1832–1883 Paris)
Date:
1870
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
25 5/8 x 31 7/8 in. (65.1 x 81 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Partial and Promised Gift of an Anonymous Donor, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.287
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 810

Manet reportedly called still life the "touchstone of painting." From 1862 to 1870 he executed several large-scale tabletop scenes of fish and fruit, of which this is the last and most elaborate. It was inspired by the donation to the Louvre of a painting of a brioche by Jean Siméon Chardin, the eighteenth-century French master of still life. Like Chardin, Manet surrounded the buttery bread with things to stimulate the senses—a brilliant white napkin, soft peaches, glistening plums, a polished knife, a bright red box—and, in traditional fashion, topped the brioche with a fragrant flower.
The Painting: Painted in 1870, this major still life has as a centerpiece a large brioche decorated with a pale pink rose. Arranged around it are peaches, grapes, a basket of plums, a mid-eighteenth-century japanned red box, a steel knife with a silver gilt blade and mother-of-pearl handle, and a fringed white napkin, all spread atop an ormolu-decorated marquetry table of the eighteenth century. This table is similar in design to a ca. 1755 writing table (or table à écrire) by Bernard II van Risenburgh in The Met’s collection (The Met, 1976.155.100). (For more on the identification of the table and the objects atop it, see Notes.)

Related Compositions: Manet painted at least four other still lifes with a brioche. A smaller canvas, Brioche with Pears (Dallas Museum of Art and The Arts, Ltd.), is dated by Rouart and Wildenstein (RW251) to 1876. Anne Coffin Hanson (1979) identified the vertical composition Still Life with Brioche (Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh: formerly in the Thomas W. Evans Collection at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; see Additional Images, fig. 1) as the painting Manet referred to in one of his notebooks as: “Evans, 1880, brioche . . . 500 Fr.,” observing that Manet must have sold the picture directly to Evans for five hundred francs. In it, the face of a cat appears next to the brioche and above the highly foreshortened, cropped green pears in the foreground. In both the Dallas and Pittsburgh pictures, a rose is inserted into the brioche. Regarding this detail, Richard Brettell has noted that while some French families decorate their brioche in this manner on Easter morning as a symbol of resurrection, the summer fruits depicted in Manet’s three canvases argue that they were painted during the summer (Brettell 1995; see also Tabarant 1947 for a summer dating of The Met’s painting). Another canvas, Nature morte, huîtres, citron, brioche (1876, Dickinson Gallery, London and New York, RW 252) includes a smaller brioche alongside a knife. The Pittsburgh and Dickinson Gallery pictures repeat the dark background of The Met canvas, whereas the Dallas painting includes as a background wallpaper with trellis and flower motifs. Finally, Manet’s friend the painter Jacques-Emile Blanche (1919) mentions a fourth still life with a brioche, dated “October 27, 1881, 77, rue Saint-Pétersbourg.”

Background for the painting: In 1870, Edouard Manet was feeling very self-assured. When the critic Edmond Duranty wrote mockingly in Paris-Journal that February of two paintings Manet exhibited at the Cercle de l’Union artistique, Manet smacked him, challenging him to a duel that injured his opponent (Bazire 1884; Tabarant 1947, p. 173). He exhibited two more paintings at the official Paris Salon; took part in a committee to change the selection of the Salon jury; and was one of the central subjects of two group portraits set in ateliers: Frédéric Bazille’s L’atelier de Bazille and Henri Fantin-Latour’s Un atelier aux Batignolles (both 1870, Musée d’Orsay, Paris). So self-confident was he that he even took it upon himself to improve upon Bazille’s portrait of himself in the group portrait in Bazille’s rue de la Condamine studio as well as Berthe Morisot’s painting The Mother and Sister of the Artist (1869/1870, National Gallery of Art, Washington), destined for the Salon that year. That summer, he headed to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just outside Paris, to spend time at the small country home of his friend and fellow painter Giuseppe de Nittis (1846–1884), where it is most likely that he painted The Met’s masterful still-life painting (Tabarant 1947).

Manet responded especially to the device of the white linen napkin, animated by the play of light and shadows. The fringed corner that hangs over the edge of the table is a conventional illusionistic device, further enhanced by the knife, set at a diagonal with its handle slightly projecting. He had employed a white linen cloth and a knife similarly six years earlier in Fruits sur une table (Fruit on a Table) (see Additional Images, fig. 2).

Manet’s Sources and Still-Life Conventions: It is generally acknowledged that Manet’s painting was a response to a famous work by the great eighteenth-century French master of still-life painting, Jean Siméon Chardin, whose Brioche (see Additional Images, fig. 3) had just entered the Louvre in 1869 as a part of the La Caze bequest. The two works share a number of motifs, including the diagonal placement of the support (a stone ledge rather than a marquetry table in Chardin’s painting), the anchoring motif of a brioche (adorned by an orange blossom in Chardin’s composition), varied fruits, and the trompe-l’oeil motif of a diagonally placed object (a biscuit in Chardin’s canvas; a knife in Manet’s). Interestingly, Chardin employed a knife set at a similar angle in the pendant to The Brioche, his Grapes and Pomegranates (see Additional Images, fig. 4), in which grapes spill over the edge of the horizontal support much like the fringed cloth in Manet’s composition. Manet’s use of an eighteenth-century Rococo table makes clear his homage to Chardin (Loyrette 1994).

Other possible sources for Manet’s picture include Dutch seventeenth-century painters, such as Willem Claesz Heda and Pieter Claesz; the eighteenth-century Spanish still-life master Luis Meléndez; and Manet’s French contemporaries François Bonvin, Henri Fantin-Latour, Philippe Rousseau (see, for example, The Met, 1982.320, though dated slightly after), and Antoine Vollon. He would have seen some of these earlier sources on his travels to Holland and Spain, particularly to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (1852) and the Museo del Prado in Madrid (1865), probably viewing at the latter both Meléndez’s Still Life with Fruit, Cheese, and Containers (see Additional Images, fig. 5) and his Still Life with Watermelon, Pastries, Bread, and Wine (1770), with their low viewpoint and highly saturated red, orange, and yellow hues by which Manet seems to have been inspired (for example, in the deep red of his sweets box in the present picture). Like Rousseau, one of the most fashionable still-life painters of the era, Manet brought clutter to his brioche-dominated tabletop, a clutter most familiar as a generalized symbol for abundance and wealth, as in Dutch seventeenth-century precedents, and appealing especially to more affluent patrons. His stronger use of texture and looser brushwork may not have attracted those used to the finish of Salon paintings, but it did catch the eye of a like-minded collector, the great French baritone Jean-Baptiste Faure (see The Met, 59.129 and 50.71.1), who may have purchased the picture directly from Manet. Faure owned sixty-seven paintings by Manet (Monneret 1978), among them his Mlle. V. . . . in the Costume of an Espada (The Met, 29.100.53) and A Matador (The Met, 29.100. 52).

Manet and Still-Life Painting: For Manet, still life was “the touchstone of the painter.” He made this declaration when asking his friend Blanche to bring along a brioche for him to paint (Blanche 1919). He is said to have also once told fellow artist Charles Toché, “A painter can say all he wants to with fruit or flowers or even clouds. . . . You know, I should like to be the Saint Francis of still life” (Vollard 1936). Clearly, such forays into the genre as The Brioche yielded rich results steeped in the historical traditions of still-life painting yet transported to Manet’s more modern painterly sensibilities of purposely visible, lively brushwork and strong contrasts of black and white.

Manet’s first entries into still-life painting came after his student years in 1859–62 with his Still Life with Flowers, Fan, and Pearls (The Met, 1993.399), which may be his earliest flower painting, and Oysters (see Additional Images, Fig. 6), a gift for his soon-to-be wife, Suzanne Leenhoff (Tabarant 1947, p. 58). (The two married the following year.) There, in a reference to the still-life tradition native to Leenhoff’s Netherlands, Manet embraced the aphrodisiac potential of oysters, much prized in the Netherlands. Claesz and Heda, who often depicted oysters served with lemon and mustard in traditional stoneware—as in the canvas in the National Gallery, Washington—must have been on his mind. One critic compared the painting favorably to Chardin’s still lifes (noted in Borgmeyer 1913); Chardin, too, varied his paint surface, with some areas particularly thickly laid on, and kept his subject simple.

From that auspicious and well-received beginning, Manet continued to receive accolades for his still lifes. Emile Zola wrote in 1867 that “the most vocal enemies of Edouard Manet’s talent grant him that he paints inanimate objects well” (Zola 1974). He had just exhibited a few at his own show at the Pavillion de l’Alma during the Universal Exposition in Paris that year. As Loyrette (1994) has noted, even in Manet’s figural paintings that were less well-received, critics often singled out the still lifes for praise, adding (p. 156), “Like Cézanne and Monet, whom he would later influence, Manet found in the still life, obedient and available, a laboratory for his experimentation with color, the results of which were immediately reflected in other compositions.” In works like his Still Life with Melon and Peaches (see Additional Images, fig. 7), the artist explored not only a family of greens, yellows, and pinks, but a bright white linen cloth variegated with textured pattern that he returned to again and again in still lifes such as The Salmon (ca. 1868, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont), luncheon scenes such as Luncheon in the Studio (1868, Neue Pinakothek, Munich), and others. This approach to the linen, leaving the lines of its folds clearly distinct, as in The Met’s picture, derives from Spanish rather than Dutch precedents, where the linen has a decidedly softer, less starched appearance.

Just after 1870, Manet changed his approach to still life, moving from the abundant compositions of The Brioche and Still Life with Melon and Peaches to smaller studies of individual fruits, vegetables, or a few flowers. The Met’s Strawberries (ca. 1882, 56.230.1) is one such fruit-filled composition from the end of his life. His Still Life with Brioche (fig. 1) is an example of his pared-down compositions applied specifically to the brioche.

[Jane R. Becker 2017]

Citations:

Edmond Bazire, Manet, Paris, 1884, pp. 32–34.

Jacques-Emile Blanche, Propos de peintre: De David à Degas, Paris, 1919, p. 143.

Charles Borgmeyer, The Master Impressionists, Chicago, 1913, pp. 237–38.

Sophie Monneret, L’Impressionnisme et son époque, Paris, 1978, vol. 1, p. 207.

Ambroise Vollard, Recollections of a Picture Dealer, Violet M. Macdonald, trans., Boston, 1936, p. 153.

Emile Zola, Le bon combat de Courbet aux impressionnistes: anthologie d’écrits sur l’art, Jean-Paul Bouillon, ed., Paris, 1974, p. 91.

For all other citations, see References. 

The painting is in very good condition. There are only minor damages at the edges, some of which are retouched. The impasto has been somewhat impacted by the lining process, but the paint retains a lively surface. Residues of discolored varnish are seen in the white napkin; examination with UV further reveals that much of the painting has residues of a natural resin varnish from a past cleaning. The bottom right corner, where the painting was signed, was avoided in the cleaning, though this is not noticeable in normal light. The tacking edges are intact.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Manet, 1870
Jean-Baptiste Faure, Paris (possibly bought from the artist, by 1884–1907; placed on deposit with Durand-Ruel, Paris, February 20, 1906, date book no. L.10914 (date book records the price asked by Faure as Fr 60,000); sold March 13, 1907 for Fr 25,000 to Durand-Ruel; cat., 1902, no. 34); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1907–9; transferred October 22, 1909 to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1909–at least 1912; stock no. L. 8423]; Carl O. Nielsen, Oslo (by 1918–at least 1922); [Étienne Bignou, Paris]; [Durand-Ruel, New York]; [Alex Reid, Glasgow, 1923; bought in Paris; sold for £10,500 to Gow]; Leonard Gow, Craigendorran [Glasgow] (1923–at least 1935); [The Lefevre Gallery, London]; Mrs. Chester Beatty, London (by 1936–55; sold on March 16, 1955 to Rosenberg); [Paul Rosenberg, New York, 1955; inv. no. 5610; sold on June 27 to Rockefeller]; Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller, New York (from 1955)
Paris. École Nationale des Beaux-Arts. "Exposition des œuvres de Édouard Manet," January 6–28, 1884, no. 85 (lent by M. Faure).

Paris. Durand-Ruel. "Exposition de 24 tableaux et aquarelles par Manet formant la collection Faure," March 1–31, 1906, no. 12.

London. Sulley and Co. "Exhibition of Paintings & Water-Colours by Manet (Faure Collection)," June 11–30, 1906, no. 10.

Berlin. Galerie Paul Cassirer. "Ausstellung der Sammlung Faure," September 22–October 22, 1906, no. 9 or 12 [see Hanson 1966, Callen 1971, and Moffett 1983].

Manchester City Art Gallery. "Modern French Paintings," 1907–8, no. 66 (as "The Cake," lent by Durand-Ruel).

London. Palace of Fine Arts. "Franco-British Exhibition," May 14–December ?, 1908, no. 331 (lent by Durand-Ruel).

Copenhagen. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. "Édouard Manet: Udstilling af hans Arbejder i Skandinavisk Eje," January 27–February 17, 1922, no. 15 (lent by Carl O. Nielsen, Kristiania).

Stockholm. Nationalmuseum. "Édouard Manet: Udstilling af hans Arbejder i Skandinavisk Eje," February 28–March 18, 1922, no. 15 (lent by Carl O. Nielsen, Kristiania).

Oslo. Nationalgalleriet. "Édouard Manet: Udstilling af hans Arbejder i Skandinavisk Eje," March 30–April 18, 1922, no. 15 (lent by Carl O. Nielsen, Kristiania).

London. Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. "Masterpieces of French Art," June 1923, no. 15.

Glasgow. Lefevre Fine Art Ltd. "Masterpieces of French Art," August 1923, no catalogue? [see Exh. London 1932].

London. Royal Academy of Arts. "French Art: 1200–1900," January 4–March 12, 1932, no. 395 (lent by Leonard Gow, Craigendoran) [commemorative catalogue, no. 427].

Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "Exposition Manet, 1832–1883," June–July 1932, no. 43 (lent by Leonard Gow, Glasgow).

Brussels. Palais des Beaux-Arts. "L'Impressionnisme," June 15–September 29, 1935, no. 35 (lent by Leonard Gow, Scotland).

Paris. Paul Rosenberg. "Exposition 'Le grand siècle'," June 15–July 11, 1936, no. 35 (lent by Mme Chester Beatty).

London. New Burlington Galleries. "Exhibition of Masters of French 19th Century Painting," October 1–31, 1936, no. 37 (lent by Mrs. Chester Beatty, London).

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Paintings from Private Collections," May 31–September 5, 1955, no. 79 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller).

Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Painting," April 25–May 24, 1959, unnumbered cat. (p. 15, lent by Mr. David Rockefeller).

Cambridge, Mass. Fogg Art Museum. "Works of Art from the Collections of the Harvard Class of 1936," June 11–August 25, 1961, no. 16 (lent by David Rockefeller).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 12–September 2, 1963, no. 28 (lent anonymously).

New York. Harvard Club. "Harvard Club Centennial," May 1–14, 1965, no catalogue? [see Exh. Philadelphia 1966].

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Édouard Manet, 1832–1883," November 3–December 11, 1966, no. 102 (lent from a private collection, New York).

Art Institute of Chicago. "Édouard Manet, 1832–1883," January 13–February 19, 1967, no. 102.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The Past Rediscovered: French Painting, 1800–1900," July 3–September 7, 1969, no. 55 (lent from a private collection, New York).

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Masterpieces from the David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Manet to Picasso," June 9–September 6, 1994, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Origins of Impressionism," September 27, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 112.

Joséphin Péladan. "Le procédé de Manet d'après l'exposition de l'École des Beaux-Arts." L'Artiste 1 (February 1884), p. 102, notes that Manet's pictures of "dessertes" are equal to the best paintings of this type by Chardin.

Théodore Duret. Histoire d'Édouard Manet et de son œuvre. Paris, 1902, p. 248, no. 223, lists it with paintings dated 1875–77 and places it in the collection of M. Faure, Paris; catalogues a smaller picture of the same subject (RW251).

Notice sur la collection J.-B. Faure suivie du catalogue des tableaux formant cette collection. Paris, 1902, p. 21, no. 34, dates it 1870.

Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manuscrit de l'œuvre d'Édouard Manet, peinture et pastels. [1906], unpaginated, no. 219 [Département des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris].

Hans Rosenhagen. "Aus den Berliner Kunstsalons." Die Kunst für Alle 22 (November 1906), p. 72.

Frank Rinder. "London Exhibitions." Art-Journal (August 1906), p. 241.

Athenæum (June 30, 1906), p. 805.

The Times (June 15, 1906) [reprinted in Denys Sutton, "The Courtauld Collection," Burlington Magazine 96 (September 1954), p. 293 n. 11], calls the picture "celebrated".

F. Wedmore. "Manet in Bond Street." Standard (June 15, 1906) [see Ref. Rouart and Wildenstein 1975].

C. Phillips. "Pictures by Manet." Daily Telegraph (June 21, 1906) [see Ref. Rouart and Wildenstein 1975].

George Moore. "Erinnerungen an die Impressionisten." Kunst und Künstler 5 (November 1906), p. 73, ill.

Rudolf Adelbert Meyer. "Manet und Monet." Die Kunst Unserer Zeit 19 (1908), p. 48, ill., as in the Faure collection.

Gabriel Mourey. "The French Fine Art Section." The Franco-British Exhibition: Illustrated Review. London, 1908, p. 130.

G. J. Wolf. "Édouard Manet." Die Kunst für Alle 26 (January 1, 1911), pp. 152, 168, ill., calls it "Stilleben" and erroneously dates it 1877.

Julius Meier-Graefe. Édouard Manet. Munich, 1912, pp. 282, 284, 286, fig. 83, as in the collection of Durand-Ruel, New York; dates it 1870.

Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manet raconté par lui-même. Paris, 1926, vol. 2, pp. 44, 115, 129, no. 85, figs. 227 and 347, publishes a photograph of it in Manet's Paris exhibition of 1884.

A. Tabarant. Manet, histoire catalographique. Paris, 1931, p. 203, no. 154.

Charles Léger. Édouard Manet. Paris, 1931, pl. 13, as in the collection of Leonard Gow, Glasgow.

Paul Jamot and Georges Wildenstein. Manet. Paris, 1932, vol. 1, p. 140, no. 181; vol. 2, fig. 407, as in the collection of Leonard Gow, Glasgow.

Christian Zervos. "A propos de Manet." Cahiers d'art 7 (1932), pp. 320–21, ill., compares it unfavorably to Chardin's "Brioche fleurie" (Musée du Louvre, Paris).

Lionello Venturi. Cézanne: son art—son oeuvre. Paris, 1936, vol. 1, pp. 24, 109, under no. 197, as in the collection of Mrs. Chester Beatty, London; compares it to Cézanne's "Un dessert" (V197), finding the two tables very similar.

Robert Rey. Manet. English ed. [French ed. 1938]. New York, 1938, pp. 157, 163, ill., erroneously lists it as still in the Gow collection.

Gotthard Jedlicka. Édouard Manet. Zürich, 1941, pp. 195, 198–99, 405 n. 4, ill. opp. p. 199.

A. Tabarant. Manet et ses œuvres. 4th ed. (1st. ed. 1942). Paris, 1947, pp. 178–79, 537, 607, no. 161, ill., as in the collection of Mrs. Chester Beatty, London; dates it June–July 1870; states that Faure bought it from the artist.

Michel Florisoone. Manet. Monaco, 1947, pp. XV, XVII, pl. 46, notes the influence of Chardin.

Germain Bazin. L'époque impressionniste. Paris, 1947, pl. 45, erroneously as in the Gow collection.

Benno Reifenberg. Manet. Bern, 1947, pl. 20.

Charles Sterling. La Nature morte de l'antiquité à nos jours. Paris, 1952, pp. 88, 92, mentions the influence of Chardin's "Brioche fleurie" (Musée du Louvre, Paris).

James Thrall Soby. "Collectors' Choice." The Saturday Review (July 2, 1955), p. 34?, ill., states that it makes firm Manet's position as chief herald of modern art; notes its inspirational "tonal radiance" and technical virtuosity that inspired later artists and restored autonomy to painting.

"50 of the Most Fashionable Paintings in the World." Art News 58 (April 1959), p. 30.

John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. rev., enl. ed. New York, 1961, p. 219, ill. (color).

J. Mathey. Graphisme de Manet: Peintures réapparues. Vol. 2, Paris, 1963, p. 36, pl. 110 (detail).

Anne Coffin Hanson. Édouard Manet, 1832–1883. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1966, pp. 117–19, no. 102, ill. (overall and detail), as in a private collection, New York.

George Heard Hamilton. "Is Manet Still 'Modern'?" Art News Annual 31 (1966), p. 126, ill., notes the Louis XV marquetry table.

Sandra Orienti in The Complete Paintings of Manet. New York, 1967, pp. 98–99, no. 137, ill.

Ronald Pickvance. A Man of Influence: Alex Reid, 1854–1928. Exh. cat.Edinburgh, 1967, pp. 10, 14, claims that Reid bought this picture in Paris in 1887 [this is the version in a private collection, France], and bought it again in Paris in 1923; states that he organized the 1923 London exhibition, and then "with slight modifications and additions" brought the exhibition to Kelvingrove, in Glasgow.

Anthea Callen. "Jean-Baptiste Faure, 1830–1914: A Study of a Patron and Collector of the Impressionists and their Contemporaries." Master's thesis, University of Leicester, 1971, p. 259a, no. 380, fig. 5, gives precise dates of Durand-Ruel ownership with stock numbers.

John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. 4th rev. ed. New York, 1973, p. 219, ill. (color).

Anthea Callen. "Faure and Manet." Gazette des beaux-arts 83 (March 1974), p. 172, notes that it was listed as no. 34 in Faure's "Notice" of 1902 [see Ref. 1902], a catalogue of his paintings.

Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein. Édouard Manet, catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1975, vol. 1, pp. 144–45, no. 157, ill., state that Nielsen owned this work by 1918.

Anne Coffin Hanson. "A Tale of Two Manets." Art in America 67 (December 1979), pp. 62, 66, 68 n. 46, ill., discusses the early provenances of the three versions of the subject [see Notes].

Charles F. Stuckey. "What's Wrong with this Picture?" Art in America 69 (September 1981), pp. 104, 106, ill. (color).

Charles S. Moffett in Manet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, p. 213, under no. 80 [French ed., Paris, 1983].

Steven A. Nash in The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection: Dallas Museum of Art. Dallas, 1985, p. 93, contrasts The Met painting with the 1876 version of the subject in the Reves collection; notes that Manet had depicted brioches prior to The Met painting, but never with a flower piercing the crown; highlights the painting's appeal to the senses (sight, smell, taste, and touch).

Charles F. Stuckey and Juliet Wilson-Bareau in Édouard Manet. Exh. cat., Isetan Museum of Art. Tokyo, 1986, p. 161, under no. 29.

Françoise Cachin. Manet. [Paris], 1990, p. 151, no. 10, ill., as in a private collection, New York.

Éric Darragon. Manet. Paris, 1991, p. 206.

Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1991–1992." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 50 (Fall 1992), p. 44, ill. (color).

Henri Loyrette in Origins of Impressionism. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1994, pp. 154, 165, 174, 297, 324, 416, no. 112, ill. (fig. 211 [color] and black and white) [French ed., Paris, 1994, pp. 154, 165, 174, 297, 326, 413, no. 112, ill. (fig. 211 [color] and black and white)], suggests that it was painted in July or August of 1870, while Manet was staying with Giuseppe de Nittis at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

David Rockefeller and J. Kirk T. Varnedoe in Masterpieces from The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Manet to Picasso. Ed. J. Kirk T. Varnedoe. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1994, pp. 8, 16, 22–23, 28, 66–67, ill. (color), comments on its purchase from Paul Rosenberg, who bought a major portion of the Chester Beattie [sic] collection; compares it with Cézanne's "Still Life with Fruit Dish" from the same collection.

Richard R. Brettell. Impressionist Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection. Dallas, 1995, pp. 60–61, compares and contrasts The Met painting with the 1876 version of the subject in the Dallas Museum of Art; notes the French tradition of eating a brioche with a rose on Easter morning, as a symbol of the resurrection.

Henri Loyrette in Cézanne. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. Philadelphia, 1996, p. 114 [French ed., Paris, 1995, p.113], suggests that while Manet imitated Chardin's "La brioche" (Musée du Louvre, Paris), Cézanne in turn followed Manet's example.

Hans Körner. Edouard Manet: Dandy, Flaneur, Maler. Munich, 1996, pp. 202–3, fig. 175.

Jeannene Przyblyski. "Courbet, the Commune, and the Meaning of Still Life in 1871." Art Journal 55 (Summer 1996), pp. 32–33, fig. 7, reads social meaning into the various combined elements of the painting, stating that "it resonates with old aristocratic models of casual display . . . that were increasingly appropriated by the bourgeoisie as it shaped the character of modern society in its own image".

George Mauner and Henri Loyrette. Manet: The Still-Life Paintings. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. New York, 2000, pp. 43, 138, fig. 25 (color) [French ed., "Manet: Les natures mortes," Paris, 2000, pp. 57, 153, fig. 25 (color)].

Eliza E. Rathbone in Impressionist Still Life. Ed. Eliza E. Rathbone and George T. M. Shackelford. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection. New York, 2001, pp. 14–16, 225 n. 40, fig. 5 (color), notes the influence of Velázquez in the use of color and that the rose depicted could be the first hybrid tea rose, which appeared in 1867.

Carol Armstrong. Manet Manette. New Haven, 2002, pp. 275–76, fig. 145.

Hugues Wilhelm in Berthe Morisot, 1841–1895. Ed. Sylvie Patry, Hugues Wilhelm, and Sylvie Patin. Exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. Paris, 2002, p. 180, fig. 1 (color), under no. 38, states that Morisot used the same table for her "Pommes" (1887, CMR 218, formerly Renoir collection; whereabouts unknown) and that her husband Eugène Manet inherited it from his brother in the period between Manet's and Morisot's still lifes; mistakenly identifies it as a writing desk with a leather surface.

Manuela B. Mena Marqués in Manet en el Prado. Ed. Manuela B. Mena Marqués. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2003, pp. 348, 493.

Lesley Stevenson in Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past. Ed. Ann Dumas. Exh. cat., High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Denver, 2007, p. 195, fig. 87 (color).

Frances Fowle. Impressionism and Scotland. Exh. cat., National Gallery Complex. Edinburgh, 2008, pp. 75, 130, states that Leonard Gow purchased it from Alex Reid in 1923 for £10,500, adding erroneously that this is the same picture that Reid sold at the Hôtel Drouot in 1898.



In the catalogue of J.- B. Faure’s collection (1902) and Tabarant (1931 and 1947), the box has been described as lacquered in red and gilt "vernis Martin" (a type of Japanning or imitation lacquer named after the French Martin brothers). Tabarant (1931 and 1947) also described it as a bonbonnière, or a box to hold bonbons. (Brettell [1995] called it a circular box of chocolates that has just had its ribbon cut with the knife.) Danielle Kisluk-Grosheide, The Met’s Henry R. Kravis Curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, identifies the box instead as a japanned eighteenth-century box, possibly from a toilet service, that might have been used later to hold something else, such as the brown cookies or chocolate that seem to be inside; she also noted that eighteenth-century bonbonnières were smaller. Kisluk-Grosheide has identified the eighteenth-century table as possibly kingwood and amaranth. In the literature, it was said to be a Louis XV marquetry table (Hamilton 1966) of rosewood (Faure catalogue 1902; Tabarant 1947). Finally, Kisluk-Grosheide identified the knife as steel with a silver gilt blade and mother-of-pearl handle. According to Melinda Watt, The Met’s Supervising Curator of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center, the fringed cloth depicted is a napkin that is most likely made of linen. Eliza Rathbone (2001) noted that the pale pink rose could be the first hybrid tea rose, which appeared in 1867.
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