Mademoiselle V. . . in the Costume of an Espada

Artist: Édouard Manet (French, Paris 1832–1883 Paris)

Date: 1862

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 65 x 50 1/4 in. (165.1 x 127.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929

Accession Number: 29.100.53


Manet depicted model Victorine Meurent (1844–1928) in the guise of a male espada, or matador, borrowing her pose from a Renaissance print. Victorine’s shoes are unsuitable for bullfighting, and the pink cape that she flourishes is the wrong hue, but she carries off her role with panache. The backdrop reproduces a scene from Goya’s Tauromaquia series, celebrating the feats of bullfighters. When this painting was exhibited at the infamous Salon des Refusés of 1863, a commentator noted, "Manet loves Spain, and his favorite master seems to be Goya, whose vivid and contrasting hues, whose free and fiery touch he imitates."