Edouard Manet - Woman fastening her garter 1878

Woman fastening her garter 1878
Woman fastening her garter
1878 55x46cm oil/canvas
Ordrupgaard Collection, Copenhagen, Denmark

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From Ordrupgaard Collection, Copenhagen:
Manet typically goes directly to the motif. The picture is overpoweringly physical and the woman’s breasts almost flop out towards the observer. The picture was done in pastel crayon, and we see a woman stand against a wall with flowery wallpaper beside an upholstered divan. The pastel technique itself, the boudoir setting and the ambivalent element – is it a dressing or an undressing scene? – create a piquant but also poetic mood in the picture. It is not clear whether the picture was a sitting with the painter and a professional model or a more private picture, in which case the woman could be Manet’s friend Mèry Laurent.