Manet summered at Gennevilliers in 1874, often spending time with Monet and Renoir across the Seine at Argenteuil, where Boating was painted. Beyond adopting the lighter touch and palette of his younger Impressionist colleagues, Manet exploits the broad planes of color and strong diagonals of Japanese prints to give inimitable form to this scene of outdoor leisure. Rodolphe Leenhoff, the artist’s brother-in-law, is thought to have posed for the sailor but the identity of the woman is uncertain.
Shown in the Salon of 1879, Boating was deemed "the last word in painting" by Mary Cassatt, who recommended the acquisition to the New York collectors Louisine and H.O. Havemeyer.
The Painting: In the summer of 1874, Edouard Manet painted this ode to the relatively new bourgeois and upper class Parisian leisure activity, boating on the Seine, when he was living at his family’s property in Gennevilliers across the river from Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir in Argenteuil (both communes northwest of Paris). The male and female boaters in The Met’s picture are out to "see and be seen" in the new casual dress favored for such sporty outings, a jaunty white boating outfit with a straw hat for him and a maritime blue-striped dress with a white hat for her. More specifically, his white shirt, white flannel trousers, and straw boater with a blue border have been identified as the uniform of the tony Cercle nautique boating club, headquartered in Asnières (Herbert 1988). The netting on her hat could keep away such possible intrusions from outdoor life as river water and dust, then believed to be harmful to one’s health (see Marni Kessler, Sheer Presence: The Veil in Manet’s Paris, Minneapolis, 2006). While the black ribbon on her hat at left runs parallel to the sail’s sheet at right, the blue-green ribbon on his hat as well as the blues of her dress echo the various blues of the water that dominate the image. The artist worked to unify the composition through both color and line in these ways. The sail at right is rendered at an odd angle, leaving the subject of the sitters’ activity barely cropped into view. The figures have been brought up to the very foreground so that the viewer might have immediate entry into the scene. Rather than use the canvas as a traditionally illusory three-dimensional window onto another world, Manet chose to emphasize the flat, two-dimensional aspects of the painting by making the viewer’s vantage point very low, omitting a horizon line and any visible land beyond the water, and employing an increasingly smooth texture in the brushstrokes as they mount to the top of the broad plane of blue water. At bottom and even at the female sitter’s bodice, the brushstrokes of blue paint Manet used to compose her dress exceed the contours of the garment, seeming to fly off into space and also emphasizing the planar aspects of the composition.
While the male boater with his left hand on the tiller most often has been associated with Manet’s brother-in-law Rodolphe Leenhoff (first so-identified in Meier-Graefe 1912), there has been much less of a consensus as to the female sitter’s identity. Leenhoff was the brother of Manet’s Dutch wife, Suzanne Leenhoff, and was a painter, too. Manet appears to have depicted these same two sitters in a very similar composition shortly before (see Related Works below). Over the years, various other identities have been suggested, from Manet’s writer-friend George Moore and his mistress (Mather 1930), to the French naturalist short-story master Guy de Maupassant (Gallas 1934) and Maupassant’s friend Baron Barbier (Blanche 1938) for the man and Suzanne Leenhoff (Salinger 1947; Kimball and Venturi 1948), Camille Monet (Adler 1986), and a professional model (Cachin 1990) for the woman.
The Salon and Thereafter: While former Met curator Charles Moffett (1983) noted that the size, theme, and finish of the picture suggest that Manet may have thought to submit it to the annual Paris Salon of 1875 with his related Argenteuil (see Related Works below), Manet seems to have held the picture back from immediate exhibition. When he showed the painting at the Salon in 1879 with In the Conservatory (1879, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin), Manet expressed to his friend, the Symbolist poet and critic Stéphane Mallarmé, dissatisfaction with the installation of his two paintings: "I’m afraid that the way I’m hung in the Salon will leave me as poor as before, and I’m in need of money" (Manet May 8, 1879). It is, perhaps, incredible to consider that the artist-dandy behind The Met’s masterpiece painting could have feared that the way Boating (exhibited at the Salon in 1879 as En bateau [or, On A Boat]) was hung at the Salon (quite possibly "skied," or placed high up and away from eye-level) could have left him no richer than before the official Salon opened. He even wrote to ask Under-Secretary of State Edmond Turquet to reconsider purchasing one of his two paintings on view at the Salon for the French state’s contemporary art collection, then housed at the Musée du Luxembourg (Manet June 6, 1879). In fact, though, Boating sold straight from the Salon to the banker-art collector and Director of the literary journal Gil Blas Victor Desfossés for one thousand five hundred francs. Desfossés also owned Courbet’s great revery on the artist’s life The Studio of the Painter (1854–55, Musée d’Orsay, Paris) and paintings by Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Camille Pissarro. Five years later, Desfossés lent The Met’s picture to Manet’s one-man show at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and, ten years later, to the Universal Exposition of 1889. When Mary Cassatt saw the painting at the Salon of 1879, she called it "the last word in painting" (Havemeyer 1961). The image stuck with her since, fifteen years later, she drew on its use of space for her own image of a couple boating, The Boating Party (see Additional Images, fig. 1), and, when the picture was with the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel in 1895, Cassatt recommended that her close friends Louisine and H. O. Havemeyer acquire the picture as well. Louisine bequeathed it to The Met upon her death in 1929.
Unlike Cassatt, critics who saw Boating at the Salon of 1879 disliked its rough, sketch-like execution (for example, Fourcaud 1879 and Baignères 1879). A caricature that appeared in Le Journal amusant (see Additional Images, fig. 2) even turned the woman’s dress into a fluffy eiderdown quilt, cheekily renaming the picture "La femme edredon" (or, The Eiderdown-Woman). In this way, the caricaturist Stop compared to a down quilt’s feathers the artist’s free-form blue brushstrokes at the bottom of the canvas that seem to grow from the blue dress to take on a life of their own. Jules Castagnary (1879) preferred In the Conservatory to The Met‘s picture. The novelist and critic Joris-Karl Huysmans (1879) was the rare visitor to praise Boating for its flight from traditional use of color; he also noted the cropping of the boat to be indebted to similar compositional devices found in Japanese prints, then at the height of fashion in Paris. (See a discussion of the picture’s japoniste character below.)
The Summer of 1874 with the Impressionists and Monsieur Manet: The summer of 1874 was a moment when Manet was working very closely with the Impressionists Monet and Renoir at Argenteuil. Their sense of camaraderie (along with Alfred Sisley) was strong, with mutual appreciation and a sense of seeking goals as a group. Innovations in train travel from 1850 on had brought new and more frequent train lines that enabled Parisians, including Manet and his younger painter-friends, to escape to the country for leisure activities on the Seine in Argenteuil, as in some of the other suburbs of Paris, Chatou, Croissy, and Bougival. Industry and recreation were side by side at Argenteuil, but Manet and the Impressionists sometimes included hints of this juxtaposition (see the discussion of Argenteuil [Additional Images, fig. 4] below) and sometimes, as in Boating, kept any glimmer of industry at bay. Manet’s wholehearted embrace of plein-air painting (painting out-of-doors) and the lighter, brighter color palette preferred by Monet and Renoir has been called a "vampirization," or sucking dry, of Monet’s painting techniques by Madeline (2011), and Zola (1884) similarly noted Manet’s strong debt to his younger friends that summer. Even painting outdoors, though, Manet tended to emphasize the figure more than his friends did, as in the foregrounded figures of Boating.
Japonisme and Compositional Strategies: There is no question that with the use of foreshortening, abrupt cropping, broad plane of color, strong diagonals, and lack of a horizon line, Manet here wholeheartedly embraced compositional devices from the Japanese woodblock prints of boating scenes by the ukiyo-e ("floating world") artists Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) (for example, his Water Scene (1840, The Met JP1252) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858) (for example, his images along the Tokaido, such as Spring Rain at Tsuchiyama, from the series Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, 1834–35, The Met JP520). Manet also worked to reduce extraneous, distracting lines such as the sheet, originally painted at a different diagonal angle, held in the male boater’s right hand, rather than in its current position tied to the belaying pin (recently correctly identified by Robert Zimmerman in conversation with the author), neatly echoing the line of the woman’s hat ribbon. (See Technical Notes below.)
Manet enjoyed friendships with key figures in the introduction of Japanese art in France, such as the great collectors of ukiyo-e prints, Japanese bronzes, ceramics, and textiles Philippe Burty and fellow artist Félix Bracquemond. Like his friends, Manet had been exposed to the novel display of Japanese arts and crafts at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1867 (which included prints by Hiroshige and the now-celebrated Hokusai manga books) and formed a close bond that summer with Claude Monet, who was already collecting ukiyo-e prints in the 1860s (see the catalogue entry for his Garden at Sainte-Adresse [The Met, 67.241]). All played a part in Manet’s japoniste artistic development. Manet, himself, had already explored such accoutrements as Japanese fans in his La Dame aux éventails (1873, Musée d’Orsay, Paris), a portrait of Nina de Callias from the year before Boating.
Wichmann (1985) noted that Manet’s sharp truncating of the sailboat followed upon the much more experimental Boats at Sea, Sunset (see Additional Images, fig. 3), a painting from about 1868 based on the upper section of one of his watercolors (located by Wichmann in Basel). In the Le Havre picture, the sails in the foreground are so cropped as to leave out the rest of the boat, and the sails’ strongly foregrounded placement similarly emphasizes the flatness of the picture plane. Wichmann called Hiroshige’s Mount Inasa at Nagasaki in Hizen Province (1853–56, from Famous Places from more than 60 Provinces, Osterreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna) and Saijo in Iyo Province from the same series (1853, The Met, JP591) obvious influences on Manet’s 1868 painting. We might well note the influence in The Met’s Boating as well, where the sail is similarly cropped.
Related Works: Just shortly before painting Boating (only a few days before, according to Tabarant ), Manet produced Argenteuil (see Additional Images, fig. 4), which seems to place the same figures in different boating costumes and poses, surrounded by a background that includes the smokestacks of Argenteuil. While Rouart and Wildenstein (1975, vol. 1, p. 184, no. 221) identified the female sitter in Argenteuil as a Parisian model Manet brought along for the ride, the same association has been made only rarely about the female sitter in The Met’s picture. Where it is the woman who looks out to the viewer impassively in Argenteuil while the man actively attempts to engage her, it is the man whose eyes meet those of the viewer in The Met’s picture while the woman’s profiled face looks off into the distance. In comparison to Argenteuil, Boating shows the artist taking up a very similar subject but reducing the forms and cutting back on all extraneous detail. Herbert (1988, p. 236) discussed the differing classes depicted in the two canvases.
The same fashionable "activewear" hat worn by the woman in Boating can be found in four of Manet’s other paintings from 1873–74. In two, his wife Suzanne Leenhoff Manet posed wearing it, and Monet’s wife Camille wore it in two others: The Swallows (see Additional Images, fig. 5), a picture of Suzanne and Manet’s mother on a trip to the northern seaside at Berck-sur-Mer; On the Beach (fig. 6), from the same trip, where Manet’s brother Eugène and Suzanne sit on the sand, she with a muslin veil to protect her from the wind and sand; The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil (1874, The Met, 1976.201.14), where Camille Monet wears the hat in her own garden that same summer at Argenteuil; and Banks of the Seine at Argenteuil (1874, Courtauld Gallery, London), where Camille waits at the shore with Jean. Whether the painter lent one of his wife’s hats to Camille as a prop when she posed for him or whether it was simply the most de rigueur hat of the season has been debated (Moffett 1983 and Bailey 1997).
Technical Notes: The man's right hand originally held the sheet, and traces of this position are still evident on the water and the boat (Stang 1972). This pentimento (visible trace of earlier painting on the final surface of the canvas) is a telling rare example that reveals a bit of the artist’s process (see Japonisme and Compositional Strategies above). (The change in position of the sheet is still more visible in x-rays.) Moffett (1974) noted that "by altering the direction of the rope Manet removed a cue to logical perspective and thereby further emphasized the flatness of the picture space." In addition, Perutz (1993) suggested that the figure of the woman was added as an afterthought because curving brown strokes of paint that have become visible to the naked eye in the area of the woman’s upper right arm and bodice reveal that the area of the boat’s brown paint originally extended into the space now occupied by the figure.
[Jane R. Becker 2017]
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Manet
the artist, Paris (1874–79; sold at the Paris Salon in 1879, for Fr 1,500 to Desfossés); Victor Desfossés, Paris (1879–95; sold on May 7, 1895 for Fr 25,000 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1895, stock no. 3267, as "En bateau"; sold on September 19 for Fr 55,000 to Havemeyer ]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1895–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929; cat., 1931, pp. 138–39, ill.)
Paris. Manet's studio, 4, rue de Saint-Pétersbourg. April 15–May 1, 1876, no catalogue [see Bertall 1876, Deraismes 1876, Cachin and Moffett 1983].
Paris. Salon. May 12–June 1879, no. 2011 (as "En bateau").
Paris. École Nationale des Beaux-Arts. "Exposition des œuvres de Édouard Manet," January 6–28, 1884, no. 76 (lent by M Desfossés).
Paris. Exposition Internationale Universelle. "Exposition centennale de l'art français (1789–1889)," May–November 1889, no. 498 (lent by V. Desfossés) [see Moreau-Nélaton 1906].
New York. Durand-Ruel. "Loan Exhibition: Paintings by Édouard Manet, 1832–1883," November 29–December 13, 1913, no. 13.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 11–November 2, 1930, no. 79 (as "In a Boat [En bateau]") [2nd ed., 1958, no. 157].
Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Museum of Art. "Manet and Renoir," November 29, 1933–January 1, 1934, no catalogue [see Pennsylvania Museum Bulletin 29 (December 1933), p. 17].
Art Gallery of Toronto. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings," November 1–December 1, 1935, no. 181.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Great French Paintings: An Exhibition in Memory of Chauncey McCormick," January 20–February 20, 1955, no. 23.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Édouard Manet, 1832–1883," November 3–December 11, 1966, no. 125.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Édouard Manet, 1832–1883," January 13–February 19, 1967, no. 125.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 16–November 1, 1970, unnumbered cat. (p. 78).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 374.
Paris. Grand Palais. "Centenaire de l'impressionnisme," September 21–November 24, 1974, no. 22.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, no. 22.
Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Manet, 1832–1883," April 22–August 1, 1983, no. 140.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Manet, 1832–1883," September 10–November 27, 1983, no. 140.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "From Delacroix to Matisse," March 15–May 10, 1988, no. 14.
Moscow. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. "From Delacroix to Matisse," June 10–July 30, 1988, no. 14.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A358.
Washington. Phillips Collection. "Impressionists on the Seine: A Celebration of Renoir's 'Luncheon of the Boating Party'," September 21, 1996–February 9, 1997, unnumbered cat. (fig. 27).
Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "La collection Havemeyer: Quand l'Amérique découvrait l'impressionnisme...," October 20, 1997–January 18, 1998, no. 20.
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "The Impressionists at Argenteuil," May 28–August 20, 2000, no. 40.
Hartford, Conn. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. "The Impressionists at Argenteuil," September 6–December 3, 2000, no. 40.
Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Manet en el Prado," October 13, 2003–February 8, 2004, no. 93.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 62.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Stéphane Mallarmé. "The Impressionists and Édouard Manet." The Art Monthly Review and Photographic Portfolio, a Magazine Devoted to the Fine and Industrial Arts and Illustrated Photography 1, no. 9 (September 30, 1876) [reprinted in T. A. Gronberg, "Manet: A Retrospective," New York, 1990, p. 146], calls it "Boaters".
Bertall. "L'exposition de M. Manet." Paris-Journal (April 30, 1876), p. 9?, refers to it as the "Canotier avec cette canotière," noting that it was in an exhibition of Manet's work in 1876, and remarking that it was not included in the Salon of 1875.
Maria Deraismes. Letter to Édouard Manet. May 5, 1876, notes that it was included in an exhibition held by Manet in 1876 and praises it very highly.
Édouard Manet. Letter to Stéphane Mallarmé. May 8, 1879 [postmark] [published in Juliet Wilson-Bareau, "Manet by Himself, Correspondence & Conversation: Paintings, Pastels, Prints & Drawings," Boston, 1991, p. 186], complains about the way his works, including this one, have been hung at the Salon.
Édouard Manet. Letter to Edmond Turquet. June 6, 1879 [published in Juliet Wilson-Bareau, "Manet by Himself, Correspondence & Conversation: Paintings, Pastels, Prints & Drawings," Boston, 1991, p. 186], requests that Turquet reconsider purchasing one of his paintings at the 1879 Salon.
Arthur Baignères. "Le Salon de 1879 (Premier article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 19 (June 1879), p. 564.
[Jules] Castagnary. "Salon de 1879 (6e article)." Le Siècle (June 28, 1879), p. 2.
Stop. Le Journal amusant (June 14, 1879), no. 204 [reproduced in Darragon 1991, p. 404, no. 339], makes a caricature of this painting, with the woman's dress as an eiderdown.
[Louis de] Fourcaud. "Le Salon du 'Gaulois': Impressions Parisiennes." Le Gaulois (June 18, 1879), p. 2, criticizes its execution as that of a rough sketch.
J.-K. Huysmans. "Le Salon de 1879." Le Voltaire (June 10, 1879) [reprinted in Huysmans, "L'Art moderne," Paris, 1883, pp. 35–36], praises this picture for its freedom from convention and tradition, especially in regard to color, and notes that the cropping of the boat derives from Japanese prints.
F[rédéric].-C. de Syène. "Salon de 1879. II." L'Artiste 2 (July 1879), p. 7, criticizes it.
H[enri]. Guérard. "Manet's Decoration by the State." Le carillon (July 16, 1881) [reprinted in T. A. Gronberg, "Manet: A Retrospective," New York, 1990, p. 171].
Louis Gonse. "Manet." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 29 (February 1884), p. 146.
Joséphin Péladan. "Le procédé de Manet d'après l'exposition de l'École des Beaux-Arts." L'Artiste 1 (February 1884), pp. 114–15, criticizes the drawing of the hands of the boatman.
Émile Zola. Exposition des œuvres de Édouard Manet. Exh. cat., École Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Paris, 1884, p. 16, refers to it as "les Canotiers".
L. de Fourcaud. "Exposition centennale de l'art français. IV." Revue de l'exposition universelle de 1889. Ed. L. de Fourcaud and F.-G. Dumas. Paris, 1889, p. 51.
J. Meier-Graefe. "Die Stellung Eduard Manet's." Die Kunst für Alle 15 (October 15, 1899), p. 67, ill.
Antonin Proust. "The Art of Édouard Manet." The International Studio 12 (February 1901), ill. p. 228.
Théodore Duret. Histoire d'Édouard Manet et de son œuvre. Paris, 1902, pp. 108, 117–18, 237, no. 181, dates it 1874.
Hugo v. Tschudi. Édouard Manet. Berlin, 1902, p. 29, ill.
Adolf Hölzel. "Über Künstlerische Ausdrucksmittel und Deren Verhältniz zu Natur und Bild." Die Kunst für Alle 20 (December 15, 1904), p. 129, ill.
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manuscrit de l'œuvre d'Édouard Manet, peinture et pastels. , unpaginated, no. 188 [Département des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris].
Théodore Duret in François Benoit. "Édouard Manet et les impressionistes." Histoire du paysage en France. Paris, 1908, p. 310 [see Ref. Rouart and Wildenstein 1975].
Rudolf Adelbert Meyer. "Manet und Monet." Die Kunst Unserer Zeit 19 (1908), p. 51, ill., dates it 1874.
Jean Laran and Georges Le Bas. Manet. Paris, 1912, pp. 95–96, pl. XI, quote contemporary criticism.
Julius Meier-Graefe. Édouard Manet. Munich, 1912, p. 231 n. 3, p. 232, fig. 133, identifies the man as Manet's brother-in-law, Rodolphe Leenhoff.
Théodore Duret. Manet and the French Impressionists. 2nd ed. [1st ed. 1910]. London, 1912, pp. 96, 235, no. 181, ill. opp. p. 96.
Antonin Proust. Édouard Manet. Paris, 1913, p. 93.
Achille Ségard. Mary Cassatt: Un peintre des enfants et des mères. Paris, 1913, pp. 61–62, notes its influence on Cassatt's "La barque" (National Gallery of Art, Washington) and remarks that she admired it and recommended that Mrs. Havemeyer purchase it.
Antonin Proust. "Erinnerungen an Édouard Manet." Kunst und Künstler 11 (March 1913), p. 323, ill.
Emil Waldmann. Édouard Manet. Berlin, 1923, pp. 78, 81, 129, ill.
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manet raconté par lui-même. Paris, 1926, vol. 2, pp. 24, 57, 129, no. 76, figs. 195 and 352, agrees with the identification of the sitter as Rudolphe Leenhoff and publishes a photograph of the picture hanging in the posthumous exhibition of 1884.
A. Tabarant. "Les Manet de la collection Havemeyer." La Renaissance 13 (February 1930), pp. 68, 72, ill., identifies the man as Rudolphe Leenhoff.
Frank Jewett Mather Jr. "The Havemeyer Pictures." The Arts 16 (March 1930), p. 479, identifies the couple as George Moore and his mistress; praises it.
A. Tabarant. Manet, histoire catalographique. Paris, 1931, pp. 264–65, no. 215, agrees with the identification of the man as Rudolphe Leenhoff and notes that the woman has not yet been identified; reprints contemporary criticism.
Paul Jamot and Georges Wildenstein. Manet. Paris, 1932, vol. 1, pp. 96, 149, no. 244; vol. 2, fig. 176, identify the man as Rodolphe Leenhoff.
Paul Colin. Édouard Manet. Paris, 1932, pp. 42, 74, lists it with works painted in the summer and fall of 1874, but dates it 1875.
K. R. Gallas. Letter to the Director of the MMA. May 15, 1934, suggests that the man is Guy de Maupassant.
Loan Exhibition of Paintings Celebrating the Opening of the Margaret Eaton Gallery and The East Gallery. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of Toronto. Toronto, 1935, pp. 29, 38, no. 181, ill., notes that it was painted before 1879.
Jacques-Émile Blanche. Portraits of a Lifetime: The Late Victorian Era, The Edwardian Pageant, 1870–1914. [reprint; 1st ed. 1937]. 1938, p. 39, identifies the man as Baron Barbier, a friend of Guy de Maupassant.
Gotthard Jedlicka. Édouard Manet. Zürich, 1941, pp. 173–74, 404 n. 5, regards it as a preparation for "Argenteuil" (RW221; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tournai) and "The Atelier of Claude Monet" (RW19; Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich).
A. Tabarant. Manet et ses œuvres. 4th ed. (1st. ed. 1942). Paris, 1947, pp. 246–47, 345–49, 492, 512, 539, no. 226, fig. 226, states that it was painted a few days after "Argenteuil" (RW221), noting that Rudolph Leenhoff is the sitter.
Margaretta M. Salinger. "Notes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 5 (March 1947), p. 172, ill. (overall and detail on cover), notes that it was painted in the summer of 1874 in Argenteuil, at about the same time as "Argenteuil" (RW221); identifies the man as Rudolf Leenhoff and suggests that the woman is Manet's wife and his sister, Suzanne Leenhoff.
Fiske Kimball and Lionello Venturi. Great Paintings in America. New York, 1948, pp. 180–81, no. 83, ill. (color), dates it 1874 and agrees with the idenfication of the sitters as Madame Manet and her brother, Rodolphe Leenhoff; calls this more daring than "Argenteuil" (RW221), which was executed at about the same time, and notes that these works marked a turning point in the style of Manet; comments that Monet liked to paint on a boat, which he called his "studio," and that Manet painted Monet and Madame Monet twice on this boat, but left both sketches unfinished, suggesting that they were the first idea for this picture (RW218 and 219).
Lionello Venturi. Impressionists and Symbolists. Vol. 2, New York, 1950, pp. 23–24, fig. 20.
George Heard Hamilton. Manet and His Critics. New Haven, 1954, pp. 211–12, 232, 265, pl. 31.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 52, ill.
Jean Leymarie. Impressionism. Lausanne, 1955, vol. 2, p. 35, suggests that the couple pictured is the same as in "Argenteuil" (RW221).
Georges Bataille. Manet: Biographical and Critical Study. New York, 1955, pp. 94, 109, ill. (color).
Lionello Venturi. Four Steps Toward Modern Art: Giorgione, Caravaggio, Manet, Cézanne. New York, 1956, p. 57, fig. 23.
John Richardson. Édouard Manet: Paintings and Drawings. London, 1958, p. 126, no. 48, fig. 48.
Jacques Lethève. Impressionnistes et symbolistes devant la presse. Paris, 1959, p. 105.
Henri Perruchot. La vie de Manet. Paris, 1959, pp. 250–51, 280.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, p. 225, calls it "Marine"; states that Mary Cassatt referred to it as "the last word in painting" and that Manet painted it in a couple of days, just after he finished his prolonged work on "Argenteuil" (RW221).
J. Mathey. Graphisme de Manet: Essai de catalogue raisonné des dessins. Vol. 1, Paris, 1961, p. 33, under no. 135, publishes a study for the woman, done in 1874 (Ströllen collection, Paris).
Henri Perruchot. Édouard Manet. New York, 1962, pp. 14, 87, no. 60, colorpl. 60.
Denys Sutton. "The Discerning Eye of Louisine Havemeyer." Apollo 82 (September 1965), pp. 232, fig. 5.
Anne Coffin Hanson. Édouard Manet, 1832–1883. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1966, pp. 142–43, 145, no. 125, fig. 125 (overall and detail), notes that the higher point of view and the cut-off boat and sail are highly reminiscent of the style of many Japanese prints.
George Heard Hamilton. "Is Manet Still 'Modern'?" Art News Annual 31 (1966), p. 162, dates it 1875; comments that the lack of a horizon shows the influence of Japanese art.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 45–47, ill., date it summer of 1874.
Sandra Orienti inThe Complete Paintings of Manet. New York, 1967, p. 103, no. 194, ill., and colorpl. XXXII.
Margaretta M. Salinger. "Windows Open to Nature." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (Summer 1968), unpaginated, ill. (color and black and white, overall and detail).
Alain De Leiris. The Drawings of Édouard Manet. Berkeley, 1969, p. 125, under no. 429, publishes a drawing related to this work and suggests that the drawing published by Mathey [see Ref. 1961] is a copy by another hand.
John Rewald. "The Impressionist Brush." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32, no. 3 (1973/1974), pp. 30–31, no. 19, ill. (overall and color detail).
Carl R. Baldwin. The Impressionist Epoch. Exh. brochure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [New York], 1974, pp. 12–13, ill.
Charles S. Moffett inImpressionism: A Centenary Exhibition. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1974, pp. 124–26, no. 22, ill. (color) [French ed., "Centenaire de l'impressionnisme," Paris, 1974], comments that pentimenti and x-rays reveal that originally the man at the tiller held the rope in his right hand but that "by altering the direction of the rope Manet removed a cue to logical perspective and thereby further emphasized the flatness of the picture space".
Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein. Édouard Manet, catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1975, vol. 1, pp. 6, 20, 24, 186–87, no. 223, ill.; vol. 2, p. 148, under nos. 400–401.
J. Kirk T. Varnedoe inGustave Caillebotte: A Retrospective Exhibition. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Houston, 1976, p. 122, fig. 1, describes this composition as a "partial precedent" for Caillebotte's "Canotiers" (Berhaut 1978, no. 75; private collection, Paris).
Theodore Reff. "Review of Rouart and Wildenstein 1975." Art Bulletin 58 (December 1976), p. 637, states that the two sketches reproduced by Rouart and Wildenstein [see Ref. 1975, nos. 400 and 401] are copies by another hand.
Bernard Dorival in "Ukiyo-e and European Painting." Dialogue in Art: Japan and the West. Ed. Chisaburoh F. Yamada. New York, 1976, p. 36, fig. 18 (color).
Anne Coffin Hanson. Manet and the Modern Tradition. New Haven, 1977, pp. 77, 165, 190, fig. 109.
Michael Justin Wentworth Minneapolis Institute of Arts. James Tissot: Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints. Minneapolis, 1978, pp. 98, 231, under no. 20, fig. 20d, discusses it in relation to Tissot's etching of "The Thames" of 1876 (Minneapolis Institute of Arts).
Anne Distel. Hommage à Claude Monet (1840–1926). Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. Paris, 1980, p. 111.
Raymond Cogniat and Michel Hoog. Manet. Paris, 1982, pp. 23, 27, 38, no. 26, colorpl. 26.
Charles S. Moffett inManet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, pp. 29, 33, 320, 356–59, 363, no. 140, ill. (color, overall and detail) [French ed., Paris, 1983], notes that the woman wears the same hat as Mme Monet in "On the Beach" (RW188) and "The Swallows" (RW190) and by Camille Monet in "The Monet Family in the Garden" (RW227, MMA 1976.201.14), but that she resembles neither painter's wife.
Françoise Cachin inManet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, p. 436 [French ed., Paris, 1983].
Anne Coffin Hanson inManet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, p. 23 [French ed., "Manet, 1832–1883," Paris, 1983, p. 23].
Manet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, p. 537 [French ed., Paris, 1983, p. 533], include it among the paintings Manet exhibited to the public in his studio at 4, rue de Saint-Pétersbourg, Paris, in spring 1876.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 40–41, ill. (color).
Siegfried Wichmann. Japonisme: The Japanese Influence on Western Art in the 19th and 20th Centuries. New York, 1985, p. 247, fig. 657 (cropped).
Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, pp. 56, 107, 117, 177, 257, 262 n. 9, colorpl. 60, mentions that this picture and Monet's "La Grenouillère" (MMA 29.100.112) were the only two "recreation pictures" to enter the Havemeyers' collection.
Kathleen Adler. Manet. Oxford, 1986, pp. 172–73, 176, 213, colorpl. 161, suggests that Camille Monet served as the model for this picture.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, pp. 18–20, colorpl. 6.
Charles F. Stuckey in Charles F. Stuckey and William P. Scott. Berthe Morisot, Impressionist. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1987, p. 82, fig. 54, calls Morisot's "The Lake in the Bois de Boulogne (Summer Day)" (National Gallery, London) a "reprise" of this picture.
Kirk Varnedoe. Gustave Caillebotte. New Haven, 1987, p. 98, pl. 20a [rev. ed. of Varnedoe 1976].
Robert L. Herbert. Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society. New Haven, 1988, pp. 152, 182, 236, 238, 245, 248, 277, 313 nn. 38–40, colorpl. 238, calls Morisot's "Summer's Day" (1879, National Gallery, London) a competitive reformulation of Manet's "Boating" and "Argenteuil" (1874, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tournai); notes that Rodolphe Leenhoff wears the uniform of members of the Cercle nautique and that the boat is an old-fashioned one like the one at left in "Argenteuil".
Juliet Wilson-Bareau. "L'année impressionniste de Manet: Argenteuil et Venise en 1874." Revue de l'art 86 (1989), pp. 29, 32, 34 n. 24, fig. 4, dates it 1874–75.
Françoise Cachin. Manet. [Paris], 1990, pp. 116, 158, ill. (color), suggests that the woman was a professional model.
T. A. Gronberg. Manet: A Retrospective. New York, 1990, p. 15, colorpl. 66, notes that Manet began working on this in August 1874.
Norma Broude. "A World of Light: France and the International Impressionist Movement, 1860–1920." World Impressionism: The International Movement, 1860–1920. Ed. Norma Broude. New York, 1990, p. 28, colorpl. 26.
Robert Rosenblum. "Friedrichs from Russia: An Introduction." The Romantic Vision of Caspar David Friedrich: Paintings and Drawings from the U.S.S.R. Ed. Sabine Rewald. New York, 1990, pp. 12–13, fig. 13, compares it to Friedrich's "On the Sailboat" (State Hermitage Museum, Leningrad) of 1818–19.
Éric Darragon. Manet. Paris, 1991, pp. 260, 286, 377, 381, colorpl. 204, publishes a caricature by Stop that originally appeared in Le journal amusant [see Stop 1879].
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 225, 334 n. 325, p. 340 n. 400, comments that the Havemeyers saw this picture on their trip to Europe in 1889 at the Exposition Centennale des Beaux-Arts.
Susan Alyson Stein inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 210, 219.
Gary Tinterow inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 27, colorpl. 31.
Vivien Perutz. Édouard Manet. Lewisburg, Pa., 1993, pp. 164–65, 175, 220 n. 20, colorpl. 45, compares it to Manet's "On the Beach" (RW188; Musée d'Orsay, Paris) and to "Argenteuil" (RW221); suggests that the woman was added later; notes its dependence on James Tissot's "Young Lady in a Boat" (ca. 1870, private collection), which appeared in the Salon of 1870.
Nigel Blake Francis Frascina in "Modern Practices of Art and Modernity." Modernity and Modernism: French Painting in the Nineteenth Century. New Haven, 1993, pp. 115, 118, pl. 106, compares it with Manet's "Argenteuil" (RW221), stating that both depict Rodolphe Leenhoff.
Gretchen Wold inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 356, no. A358, ill.
Anne Distel. Gustave Caillebotte, 1848–1894. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. Paris, 1994, p. 116, under no. 23, fig. 2, cites this painting, which Caillebotte may have seen in 1876, as a compositional influence for both the placement and cropping of his "Partie de bateau" (Berhaut 1994, no. 121; private collection).
Hans Körner. Edouard Manet: Dandy, Flaneur, Maler. Munich, 1996, pp. 149, 151, 154, colorpl. 121.
Beth Archer Brombert. Édouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat. Boston, 1996, pp. 361, 395–96, compares it to "In the Conservatory" (RW289).
Alan Krell. Manet and the Painters of Contemporary Life. London, 1996, pp. 134, 179, colorpl. 122, discusses the gaze of the man and woman, noting that her gaze runs along the surface of the canvas, accentuating the flatness and two-dimensionality of the picture.
Eliza E. Rathbone inImpressionists on the Seine: A Celebration of Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party". Exh. cat., Phillips Collection. Washington, 1996, pp. 28–30, 34, 41, colorpl. 27, compares it to Manet's "Argentueil" (RW221), noting that the pair in the MMA picture is a "couple of superior social station"; comments on the striking newness of the composition, which may explain Manet's five year wait before submitting it to the Salon of 1879; mentions that this work inspired Renoir's "Girl in a Boat" (private collection) of 1877.
Katherine Rothkopf. Impressionists on the Seine: A Celebration of Renoir's 'Luncheon of the Boating Party'. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection. Washington, 1996, pp. 79–80.
Lisa Portnoy Stein. Impressionists on the Seine: A Celebration of Renoir's 'Luncheon of the Boating Party'. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection. Washington, 1996, p. 242.
Colin B. Bailey in Colin B. Bailey. Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. New Haven, 1997, p. 130, identifies the woman as Suzanne Leenhoff, noting that the bonnet worn here is the same one she wore in "On the Beach" (RW188).
Fred Licht. Manet. Milan, 1998, p. 62, fig. 38, dates it 1874–76.
Carol Armstrong. Manet Manette. New Haven, 2002, pp. 203, 212, 218, 220–23, fig. 106.
Manuela B. Mena Marqués inManet en el Prado. Ed. Manuela B. Mena Marqués. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2003, pp. 21, 25, 296–99, 321, 373, 478, 484, no. 93, ill., colorpl. 93, fig. 139 (color detail), notes that the woman resembles Alice Lecouvé, the model Manet used for "Le Linge" (RW237; Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pa.).
Françoise Cachin inManet en el Prado. Ed. Manuela B. Mena Marqués. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2003, pp. 36, 378.
Anne Distel inCézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Ed. Rebecca A. Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 149 n. 6 [French ed., "De Cézanne à Picasso: Chefs-d'oeuvre de la galerie Vollard," Paris, 2007, p. 161 n. 6].
Richard R. Brettell and Stephen F. Eisenman. Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum. Ed. Sara Campbell. Vol. 1, New Haven, 2006, p. 378, fig. 98a.
Gary Tinterow inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 90–91, 230–31, no. 62, ill. (color and black and white) and fig. 13 (installation photo).
Juliet Wilson-Bareau inVenice: From Canaletto and Turner to Monet. Ed. Martin Schwander. Exh. cat., Fondation Beyeler. Basel, 2008, p. 148.
Karin Sagner. Gustave Caillebotte: Neue Perspektiven des Impressionismus. Munich, 2009, p. 165, fig. 86 (color).
Simon Kelly inManet, inventeur du Moderne. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 2011, p. 63.
Stéphane Guégan inManet, inventeur du Moderne. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 2011, pp. 211, 271.
Laurence Madeline. "C'était l'été 74. Manet face à Monet." 48/14: la revue du Musée d'Orsay no. 31 (Spring 2011), pp. 61–62, 63 n. 79, fig. 7 (color), discusses the picture in the context of Manet's "vampirization" of Monet's open-air painting techniques that summer.
MaryAnne Stevens inManet: Portraying Life. Exh. cat., Toledo Museum of Art. London, 2012, pp. 74, 176, 180, under no. 12, p. 185, under no. 25.
Sarah Lea inManet: Portraying Life. Exh. cat., Toledo Museum of Art. London, 2012, p. 174.
Ed Lilley. "Manet and His London Critics Revisited." Burlington Magazine 156 (April 2014), p. 233 n. 16.
Willibald Sauerländer. Manet paints Monet: A Summer in Argenteuil. Los Angeles, 2014, pp. 42, 44–46, 49, 63, 74 n. 18, fig. 29 (color), sees it as a prime example of Manet's "vacation painting" mode and a "sharply emphatic statement about the polarity in the roles of the sexes in contemporary bourgeois society".
Colin B. Bailey. "The Floating Studio." New York Review of Books 62 (April 23, 2015), p. 54, contends that The Met's picture, rather than "Argenteuil" (1874, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tournai) appeared on exhibition at the Deschamps Galleries in London in 1876.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 441, no. 371, ill. pp. 377, 441 (color).
There are two studies for the figure of the woman in The Met's painting (Mathey 1961, Leiris 1969) that have been rejected by Reff (1976) as being by another hand.