Edouard Manet - Portrait of Monsieur Brun 1879

Portrait of Monsieur Brun 1879
Portrait of Monsieur Brun
1879 194x123cm oil/canvas
National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan

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From National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo:
This work was created when Manet was 51 and at the end of his career. In 1879 Manet sought medical treatment for a reoccurring leg ailment in Bellevue near Paris. In Bellevue he painted the famous opera singer Emilie Ambre dressed as Carmen and it was in such a setting that Manet painted the portrait of her friend Armand Brun. Wearing a top hat and wide legged pants, the model gives the strong impression of a wealthy nouveau bourgeoisie as he strikes a stylish pose in the shade of a tree. Manet undoubtedly sought to depict the "modern" in this painting of a figure so emblematic of his class that he could have appeared in a naturalist novel. Manet employed his distinctive technique of applying paint directly with fresh brush strokes without underpainting, rendering a fresh, sparkling painting surface that makes the work appear newly painted. In terms of provenance, the work did not end up in the hands of Mr. Brun, but rather entered Degas' collection after Manet's death. Later it entered the Danish Hansen collection, famous for its early Impressionist works, and finally the work came to Japan after Kojiro Matsukata purchased it along with other Impressionists works.
(Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.67)