Olympia, Grande Planche (Olympia, Large Plate)
Guérin 40, Harris 52
Published by Strölin, Paris.
6 3/8 x 9 7/16 in. (16.2 x 23.9 cm)
A very beautiful, dark impression in bistre ink on chine appliqué with full margins from the posthumous edition of 1905. Edition of 100.
According to Jean C. Harris, this etching is the first etched version of the famous oil painting in the collections of Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Challenging the academic tradition of the idealized female nude and mythical themes, Olympia provoked lasting critical and public outrage since its first appearance at the Salon in 1865 because of the vulgarity of its subject (a prostitute), the realism and modernity of the scene, the plain beauty of the model and Manet's peculiar, controversial painting technique. This first etching after the painting was not published until after Manet's death.
A second, smaller version of the etching was made for a brochure ordered by Emile Zola, a friend of Manet, for a solo exhibition of the painter in 1867. The height of the plate was reduced by eliminating the lower part of the composition to fit the dimensions of the brochure. Jean C. Harris has argued that this second version was started by Manet himself but finished by the etcher and printer Félix Braquemond, who also contributed a portrait of Manet for the frontispiece.
M. Guérin, 'L'Oeuvre Gravé de Manet', Paris, 1944.
F. Cachin, C. S. Moffett, J. Wilson Bareau, M. Melot, 'Manet, 1832-1883', Paris, 1983.
J. C. Harris, J. M. Smith, 'Edouard Manet, The Graphic Work, A Catalogue Raisonné, Revised Edition', San Francisco, 1990.
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