Patterned after elements in landscapes by Peter Paul Rubens, the present painting gives currency to Delacroix's recommendation to Manet: "Look at Rubens, draw inspiration from Rubens, copy Rubens. Rubens was God." Manet and his future wife, Suzanne Leenhoff, are the couple at lower right dressed in seventeenth-century costume and posed like Rubens and his wife in the Flemish painter's Park of the Château de Steen (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). As Manet had concealed his relationship with Suzanne from his father, who died in September 1862, it is likely that Fishing—a variation on a wedding portrait—was made between then and their marriage in October 1863.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): éd.Manet
the artist, Paris (until d. 1883); his family and heirs (1883–85); the artist's widow, Suzanne Manet, Paris (by 1885–1897; probably acquired by inheritance from her husband, in 1883, or from her brother-in-law, Eugène Manet, in 1885; sold in 1897 for Fr 3,500 to Camentron); [Gaston-Alexandre Camentron, Paris, 1897; sold on April 1, 1897, for Fr 5,500 to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1897–1950; stock no. D-R 4145, deposit no. 8968; sold on June 20, 1950 to Société Artistique George V]; [Société Artistique George V, Paris, 1950–about 1956]; [Sam Salz, New York, about 1956–57; sold to MMA]
Paris. Avenue de l'Alma. "Tableaux de M. Édouard Manet," May 1867, no. 50 (as "Paysage").
Berlin. Galerie Matthiesen. "Édouard Manet, 1832–1883," February 6–March 18, 1928, no. 5 (as "Der Fischzug," lent by a private collector, Paris).
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "Exposition d'œuvres de Manet au profit des 'Amis du Luxembourg'," April 14–May 4, 1928, no. 15 (as "La pêche," possibly this picture).
Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "Exposition Manet, 1832–1883," June–July 1932, no. 14 (lent by Durand-Ruel, Paris).
Venice. Biennale. "XIXe Biennale internazionale d'arte," 1934, no. 1 (lent by Durand-Ruel) [see Sterling and Salinger 1967].
San Francisco. Palace of Fine Arts. "Golden Gate International Exposition," May 25–September 29, 1940, no. 274 (as "Fishing, St. Ouen," lent by Durand-Ruel, New York).
Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Manet, 1832–1883," April 22–August 1, 1983, no. 12.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Manet, 1832–1883," September 10–November 27, 1983, no. 12.
Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Copier créer, de Turner à Picasso: 200 œuvres inspirées par les maîtres du Louvre," April 26–July 26, 1993, no. 316.
Martigny, Switzerland. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "Manet," June 5–November 11, 1996, no. 8.
Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Manet en el Prado," October 13, 2003–February 8, 2004, no. 28.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 55.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Atlanta. High Museum of Art. "Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past," October 16, 2007–January 13, 2008, no. 51.
Denver Art Museum. "Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past," February 23–May 25, 2008, no. 51.
Seattle Art Museum. "Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past," June 19–September 21, 2008, no. 51.
Toledo Museum of Art. "Manet: Portraying Life," October 4, 2012–January 1, 2013, no. 3.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Manet: Portraying Life," January 26–April 14, 2013, no. 3.
Venice. Palazzo Ducale. "Manet: Ritorno a Venezia," April 24–September 1, 2013, no. 10.
Brussels. Palais des Beaux-Arts. "Rubens and His Legacy: From Van Dyck to Cézanne," September 25, 2014–January 4, 2015, no. 128.
Inventaire après décès. June 18, 1883 [published in Ref. Jamot and Wildenstein 1932, vol. 1, pp. 106, 108], lists it under works in the possession of Mme Manet mère, as "Paysage, rivière avec barque par Manet," appraised at Fr 300, or under "Études peintes" as "Esquisse de M. Manet et sa femme".
Théodore Duret. Histoire d'Édouard Manet et de son œuvre. Paris, 1902, pp. 100–1, 201, no. 33 [German ed., "Édouard Manet: Sein Leben und Seine Kunst," Berlin, 1910, pp. 134, 255, no. 33], lists it under works of 1861–62, but dates it 1859 in the text; identifies the couple in the lower right as Manet and his wife dressed in costumes "à la Rubens"; recognizes the landscape as the Seine at Saint-Ouen.
Paul Gsell. "Le Classicisme de Manet." L'Art et les artistes 2 (1905–6), ill. p. 42.
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manuscrit de l'œuvre d'Édouard Manet, peinture et pastels. , unpaginated, no. 12 [Département des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris].
Julius Meier-Graefe. Édouard Manet. Munich, 1912, pp. 123–24, fig. 59, dates it 1862; observes a connection between the handling of trees in this painting and in "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe" (Musée d'Orsay, Paris).
Théodore Duret. Manet and the French Impressionists. 2nd ed. [1st ed. 1910]. London, 1912, p. 224, no. 33.
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manet raconté par lui-même. Paris, 1926, vol. 1, pp. 29–30, fig. 16, dates it about 1860 and notes that Manet titled it "Paysage".
Paul Jamot. "Études sur Manet." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 15 (1927), pp. 38–40, 42, ill., dates it before 1860; comments on the costumes and considers two paintings by Annibale Carracci in the Louvre as Manet's inspiration.
Ausstellung Édouard Manet, 1832–1883. Exh. cat., Galerie Matthiesen. Berlin, 1928, p. 24, no. 5, pl. V, dates it about 1861–62.
A. Tabarant. Manet, histoire catalographique. Paris, 1931, pp. 60–61, no. 35, dates it 1861; relates it to Manet's etching called "Les voyageurs"; identifes the child on the river bank as Léon Leenhoff.
Paul Jamot and Georges Wildenstein. Manet. Paris, 1932, vol. 1, pp. 57, 117, no. 30; vol. 2, fig. 13, remark that this picture was signed by Mme Manet, painted in Manet's studio on the Rue Guyot after his sketches of Île Saint-Ouen, and inspired by Carracci's "La pêche" (Musée du Louvre, Paris).
Germain Bazin. "Manet et la tradition." L'Amour de l'art 13 (May 1932), pp. 153–55, figs. 18 and 21 (overall and detail), credits Charles Sterling with the discovery of Manet's borrowing from two Rubens paintings "Parc du Château de Steen" in Vienna and "Landscape with a Rainbow" (Musée du Louvre, Paris), rather than from Annibale Carracci.
Paul Valéry and Paul Jamot. Exposition Manet, 1832–1883. Exh. cat., Musée de l'Orangerie. Paris, 1932, pp. 12–13, no. 14, date it about 1861–63.
Marcel Guérin. L'œuvre gravé de Manet. Paris, 1944, unpaginated, under no. 1.
A. Tabarant. Manet et ses œuvres. 4th ed. (1st. ed. 1942). Paris, 1947, pp. 34–36, 61–62, 524, 534, no. 29, fig. 29, notes that Mme Manet owned a copy of this picture by her nephew Édouard Vibert.
Michel Florisoone. Manet. Monaco, 1947, pp. XV, XVII, pl. 11.
Nils Gösta Sandblad. Manet: Three Studies in Artistic Conception. Lund, 1954, pp. 42–45, 89–90, 170 n. 46, p. 171 n. 47, fig. 3, confuses this painting with "La pêche" in the collection of Baron von der Heydt; relates elements of this work to engravings by Schelte à Bolswert after two Rubens paintings in the Louvre.
James J. Rorimer and Dudley T. Easby Jr. "Review of the Year 1956–1957." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (October 1957), p. 38, ill. p. 44.
Alain De Leiris. "Manet's 'Christ Scourged' and the Problem of His Religious Paintings." Art Bulletin 61 (March 1959), p. 199 n. 6.
Theodore Reff. "The Meaning of Manet's Olympia." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 63 (February 1964), p. 116, recognizes in the two figures on the right, not only Manet and Suzanne Leenhoff, but also the figures of Rubens and Hélène Fourment on which they are modeled.
Anne Coffin Hanson. Édouard Manet, 1832–1883. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1966, pp. 46–47, 49, no. 11, ill., relates it to a watercolor of a man fishing in a boat (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam), calling the watercolor a possible link between this painting and "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe" (Musée d'Orsay, Paris).
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. 25–27, ill., suggest that it might Manet's earliest landscape painted perhaps before the early 1860s; reiterate the borrowings from works by Annibale Carracci and Rubens.
Sandra Orienti inThe Complete Paintings of Manet. New York, 1967, p. 90, no. 34, ill.
Alan Bowness. "Manet and Mallarmé." Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin 62 (April–June 1967), p. 213.
Alan Bowness. "Manet at Philadelphia." Burlington Magazine 109 (March 1967), p. 189, fig. 114, dates it 1860 and notes that after cleaning it looks like a "major early work".
Beatrice Farwell. "Manet's 'Espada' and Marcantonio." Metropolitan Museum Journal 2 (1969), p. 206.
Michael Fried. "Manet's Sources." Artforum 7 (March 1969), pp. 28–29, 33–34, 50, 52, 69 nn. 35, 36d, p. 71 n. 69, ill., finds this picture in both scale and character more like Watteau than Rubens; illustrates related pictures.
Theodore Reff. "'Manet's Sources': A Critical Evaluation." Artforum 8 (September 1969), p. 46, considers the stooping figure of Saint John in Raphael's cartoon "The Miraculous Draught of Fishes" (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) as probable inspiration for the fisherman in this picture.
Theodore Reff. "Manet and Blanc's 'Histoire des peintres'." Burlington Magazine 112 (July 1970), pp. 456–57, dates it 1861; observes that the two landscapes by Rubens suggested as sources for this picture ("Park of the Castle of Steen" [Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna] and "Landscape with a Rainbow" [Musée du Louvre, Paris]) were published by Blanc in 1864.
Jean C. Harris. Édouard Manet: Graphic Works, A Definitive Catalogue Raisonné. New York, 1970, p. 30, under no. 4.
Germain Bazin. Édouard Manet. Milan, 1972, p. 85, fig. 1 [French ed., 1974].
George Mauner. Manet, Peintre-Philosophe: A Study of the Painter's Themes. University Park, Pa., 1975, pp. 21–22, 24–27, 149, figs. 11, 16, 17 (overall and details).
Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein. Édouard Manet, catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1975, vol. 1, pp. 52, no. 36, ill. p. 53; vol. 2, pp. 96, 136, publish a drawing for the figure of Mme Manet.
Theodore Reff. "Review of Rouart and Wildenstein 1975." Art Bulletin 58 (December 1976), p. 635–36.
Anne Coffin Hanson. Manet and the Modern Tradition. New Haven, 1977, pp. 56, 94, 161, pl. 65, dates it about 1860.
Denys Sutton. Romance and Reality: Aspects of Landscape Painting. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 1978, p. 7.
Theodore Reff. Manet and Modern Paris. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1982, pp. 16–17, fig. 5.
Charles S. Moffett inManet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, pp. 70–74, 330, 405, no. 12, ill. (color, overall and detail) [French ed., Paris, 1983, pp. 70–74, 405, no. 12, ill. (color, overall and detail)], dates it 1861–63 and suggests that it "may be a variation on a wedding portrait," pointing to iconographic attributes related to marriage present in the work; continues that if in fact this is a marriage portrait, it also recognizes Léon's (the boy fishing in the background) illegitimacy and "simultaneously identifies him as Manet's son"; proposes that the prominent role of the fisherman may be a play on the French word for "sin," the verb of which is nearly identical with "to fish".
Françoise Cachin inManet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, pp. 86, 167 [French ed., Paris, 1983].
Pierre Daix. La vie de peintre d'Édouard Manet. Paris, 1983, pp. 64–65.
Jay McKean Fisher. The Prints of Édouard Manet. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Washington, 1985, pp. 38–39, under no. 7.
Kathleen Adler. Manet. Oxford, 1986, pp. 31–32, 51, fig. 18.
Éric Darragon. Manet. Paris, 1989, pp. 56–57, 65.
Françoise Cachin. Manet. [Paris], 1990, p. 30, fig. 2 (color).
T. A. Gronberg. Manet: A Retrospective. New York, 1990, colorpl. 5, dates it 1861–63.
Éric Darragon. Manet. Paris, 1991, pp. 68–69, 72, 298, fig. 34 (color), tentatively identifies it as "Esquisse de M. Manet et sa femme" under "études peintes" in the posthumous inventory of 1883.
Peter C. Sutton. The Age of Rubens. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1993, pp. 94–95, fig. 120.
Vivien Perutz. Édouard Manet. Lewisburg, Pa., 1993, pp. 66, 97–98, fig. 37.
Henri Loyrette inOrigins of Impressionism. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1994, pp. 120, 402, fig. 157 [French ed., Paris, 1994, pp. 120, 399, fig. 157]
, suggests that this composition may have been based on sketches done in Genevilliers, France.
Ronald Pickvance. Manet. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 1996, pp. 217–18, no. 8, colorpl. 8 ill. p. 59 (color detail), dates it about 1858–61; calls the work a "made-up, prefabricated image from disparate sources" and discusses these in depth.
Michael Fried. Manet's Modernism: or, The Face of Painting in the 1860s. Chicago, 1996, pp. 25–26, 37, 40, 82, 86–87, 470–71 nn. 33–34, p. 488 n. 127, p. 491 n. 143, p. 513 n. 37, fig. 2.
Hans Körner. Edouard Manet: Dandy, Flaneur, Maler. Munich, 1996, pp. 29–32, 35, fig. 21 (color).
Beth Archer Brombert. Édouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat. Boston, 1996, pp. 75, 80–81, 85, 110–11, 143, 186, 209, 400.
Alan Krell. Manet and the Painters of Contemporary Life. London, 1996, pp. 14–18, 39, fig. 7, dates it 1861–63.
Paul Hayes Tucker. "Making Sense of Édouard Manet's 'Le déjeuner sur l'herbe'." Manet's "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe". Ed. Paul Hayes Tucker. Cambridge, 1998, p. 23, 34 n. 32, p. 35 n. 33, fig. 14, sees a connection between this and Watteau's "The Village Girl".
Nancy Locke. "Manet's 'Le déjeuner sur l'herbe' as a Family Romance." Manet's "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe". Ed. Paul Hayes Tucker. Cambridge, 1998, p. 137.
Joanna Szczepinska-Tramer. "Manet et 'Le déjeuner sur l'herbe'." Artibus et Historiae no. 38 (1998), pp. 183–187, 189 nn. 31, 33, 42, fig. 4, suggests another source for the figures of Manet and his wife: Van Dyck's "Venus and Adonis" (with Harari and Johns Ltd., London, in 1990).
Nancy Locke. Manet and the Family Romance. Princeton, 2001, pp. 65, 71–72, 74, 78–79, 81–83, 121, 145, 192 n. 114, p. 194 nn. 155, 157, fig. 30, ill. (book jacket in color), disagrees that it represents an allegory of marriage; points out that a "manet" was a type of very fine fishing net, suggesting that the net the fisherman uses serves as a play on words between "manet" and the family name "Manet," concluding that the "picture concerns itself not so much with marriage as with the family name—who has it, who gets it"; discusses this in relation to "La musique aux Tuileries" (National Gallery, London), commenting that the two works can be seen as pendants.
Carol Armstrong. Manet Manette. New Haven, 2002, pp. 11, 15, 26–27, 305, 326 n. 35, ill. p. 29.
Manuela B. Mena Marqués inManet en el Prado. Ed. Manuela B. Mena Marqués. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2003, pp. 26, 168–72, 224, 257, 280, 294, 374, 435–436, 454, 472, 477, no. 28, ill. (overall and detail, color and black and white), remarks that the landscape in the background is reminiscent of Contable's view of Salisbury cathedral, which he probably had not seen, but which he might have been familiar with through David Lucas's "English Landscape" series of prints of Constable's works of 1830–32.
Valeriano Bozal inManet en el Prado. Ed. Manuela B. Mena Marqués. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2003, pp. 86–87, 403.
Ann Dumas inInspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past. Ed. Ann Dumas. Exh. cat., High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Denver, 2007, pp. 30, 259, no. 51, ill. p. 36 (color), dates it 1861–63.
Michael Clarke inInspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past. Ed. Ann Dumas. Exh. cat., High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Denver, 2007, p. 171.
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. 79, 226–27, no. 55, ill. (color and black and white).
This composition is derived from elements in landscapes by Annibale Carracci, Rubens, and Watteau. Manet and Suzanne Leenhoff, his future wife, are the couple in the lower right dressed in seventeenth-century costume, modeled after Rubens's portrait of himself and his wife in Park of the Château of Steen (Kunsthisorisches Museum, Vienna). The little boy fishing in the background has been identified as Léon Leenhoff, Suzanne's son.
Artist: Édouard Manet (French, Paris 1832–1883 Paris)Date: 1863, reworked ca. 1867Medium: Etching and aquatint on heavy laid paper, final state of two, posthumous impressionAccession: 23.99On view in:Not on view