Mademoiselle V. . . in the Costume of an Espada, 1862
Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883)
Oil on canvas; 65 x 50 1/4 in. (165.1 x 127.6 cm)
Signed and dated (lower left): éd. Manet. / 1862
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.53)
At the infamous Salon des Refusés of 1863, Manet assembled his Déjeuner sur l'herbe (Musée d'Orsay, Paris), Young Man in the Costume of a Majo (29.100.54), and the present painting as a triptych.
As many noted, Manet reproduced a scene from Goya's Tauromaquia as the backdrop for this painting. He depicted his favorite model, Victorine Meurent (1844–1928), as though she were being photographed in costume for a fancy-dress ball, borrowing her pose from a print by Marcantonio Raimondi after a work by Raphael. X-radiographs reveal an unfinished painting of a nude beneath the surface of the picture. Meurent was a painter herself, exhibiting work in the 1870s and 1880s and at the turn of the century.