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Lesson Plan: Manet—Critics and Champions

Espada

Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883)
Mademoiselle V . . . in the Costume of an Espada
1862
Oil on canvas; 65 x 50 1/4 in. (165.1 x 127.6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.53)

Collection Areas: European Art; European Art, Nineteenth-Century; French Art
Subject Areas: English Language Arts, Visual Arts, World History
Grades: High School
Topic/Theme: Artist Choices


Goals

Students will be able to:
  • identify ways in which artists draw upon the past as a source of inspiration;
  • recognize the range of brushwork used to create this painting; and
  • understand the context in which Manet's works were created and received.

National Learning Standards

English Language Arts
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.10 Applying Non-English Perspectives
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.K-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.K-12.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.K-12.6 Making Connections between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

World History
NSS-WH.5-12.7 Era 7: An Age of Revolutions, 1750–1914


Common Core State Standards

English Language Arts
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.*
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

*Art as text


Questions for Viewing

  • Take a moment to look closely.
  • Recreate the pose of the central figure. What do you notice as you move into place? This figure is actually a well-known model hired by the artist. Do you think she successfully captured the essence of a matador? Why or why not? What changes would you make to the pose to make it more convincing?
  • Although paintings of religious, historic, and mythological subjects were fashionable in the 1860s, artists such as Édouard Manet, who created this painting, chose to create a scene of modern life. Take a moment to look closely at etchings created in the 1500s by Marcantonio Raimondi. (Reproduced in Farwell, Beatrice, "Manet's 'Espada' and Marcantonio." Metropolitan Museum Journal, v. 2 [1969]: 197–207. See Temperance on pp. 202–203 and Justice on p. 204.) What similarities do you notice? How has Manet updated the scene?
  • Move in for a closer look. What do you notice about the application of paint throughout the work? Imagine you were recreating this painting. How would you move your brush as you painted the central figure? How would you move your brush as you painted the figures in the background?
  • Manet drew upon other works of art for inspiration. What similarities and differences do you notice between this work and Francisco de Goya's El animoso moro Gazul es el primero que lanceó toros en regla?
  • Though this painting is prominently displayed in the Museum's galleries today, it was rejected by a panel of jurors in charge of selecting works for the Salon of 1863, a semiannual and later annual exhibition that provided artists with an invaluable opportunity to present their work. In fact, so many works of art were rejected that a Salon de Refusés (Salon of Rejects) was organized. Take a moment to read a review of the three paintings Manet presented in the 1863 Salon de Refusés:

    A great deal of fuss has been made over this young man [Manet]. But let's be serious. The bathing scene, the Majo, and the Espada are good sketches, I agree. There's a certain directness in the touch that are in no way vulgar. But then what? Is this drawing? Is this painting?

    Review by Jules Castagnary in L'Artist, 15 August, 1863. In Denvir, Bernard, The Impressionists at First Hand. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1987, p. 23

    What changes might Manet need to make to turn this so-called "sketch" into a finished work in the eyes of this reviewer?


Activity

Activity Setting: Museum and Classroom
Materials: None
Subject Areas: Visual Arts
Duration: 15 minutes

Observe the range of brushwork used to create this image. Practice making these marks with your finger. Working with a partner, take turns using each other's back as a canvas to "paint" various sections of the painting. Describe the type of marks you feel, noting the direction, amount of pressure, and speed. Identify areas of the painting that correspond to the different brush strokes you feel.


Resources

"Édouard Manet: Mademoiselle V . . . in the Costume of an Espada (29.100.53)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (December 2008)

Farwell, Beatrice. "Manet's 'Espada' and Marcantonio." Metropolitan Museum Journal, v. 2 (1969): 197–207.

Pre-Visit Guide for Teachers: 19th-Century European Painting (PDF)

Rabinow, Rebecca. "Édouard Manet (1832–1883)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2004)

Samu, Margaret. "Impressionism: Art and Modernity." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2004)

Tinterow, Gary, and Geneviève Lacambre, et al. Manet/Velázquez:  The French Taste for Spanish Painting. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003.

Review by Jules Castagnary in L'Artist, 15 August, 1863. In Denvir, Bernard, The Impressionists at First Hand. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1987, p. 23.


Objects in the Museum's Collection Related to this Lesson

Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, 1746–1828)
El animoso moro Gazul es el primero que lanceó toros en regla (The spirited Moor Gazul is the first to spear bulls according to the rules)
1816
Etching, burnished aquatint and drypoint; Sheet: 12 5/16 x 17 5/8 in. (31.2 x 44.8 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1921 (21.19.5)

Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883)
The Spanish Singer
1860
Oil on canvas; 58 x 45 in. (147.3 x 114.3 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of William Church Osborn, 1949 (49.58.2)

Marcantonio Raimondi (Italian, ca. 1480–before 1534)
Temperance
About 1500–1534
Engraving; 8 11/16 x 4 1/4 in. (22.1 x 10.8 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1926 (26.50.1(72))

Marcantonio Raimondi (Italian, ca. 1480–before 1534) 
Justice
About 1500–1534
Engraving; 8 7/16 x 4 1/4 in. (21.4 x 10.8 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1926 (26.50.1(70))


Author: Claire Moore
Affiliation: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Date: 2010

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