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Edouard Manet

The Old Musician. Edouard Manet

1862, oil on canvas, 186 × 247 cm
Washington (D. C.), National Gallery of Art


Der alte Musiker. Edouard Manet

1862, Öl auf Leinwand, 186 × 247 cm
Washington (D.C.), National Gallery of Art


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The Old Musician Painting - The Old Musician by Edouard Manet

The Old Musician

The Old Musician is an 1862 oil painting on canvas by French painter Édouard Manet, produced during the period when the artist was influenced by Spanish art. The painting also betrays the influence of Gustave Courbet. This work is one of Manet's largest paintings and is now conserved at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC..

The painting is composed of seven characters in a landscape. The old musician in the center who is preparing to play the violin is Jean Lagrène, the leader of a local gypsy band. At the left, there are a young girl standing with a baby in her arms, and two young boys. In the background, the man in the top hat is the rag picker and ironmonger Colardet. At the right, the Oriental man with a turban and a long robe, partly shown, represents Guéroult, a "wandering Jew". Attitudes and clothes of the characters seem to be inspired by Diego Velázquez or Louis Le Nain.[1][2]

The painting contains a series of allusions: the man in the top hat is the same character as The Absinthe Drinker, painted by Manet some years earlier and who reappears in this painting without any particular reason. The young boy in straw hat, meanwhile, is explicitly inspired by Antoine Watteau's Pierrot.

"Édouard Manet, les premières œuvres" (in French). Van Gogh. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
"Édouard Manet (artist), French, 1832 - 1883, The Old Musician, 1862". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved 25 March 2010.


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