The Lost Photographs of Edouard Manet
By Alexi Worth
In Manet's Modernism , Michael Fried describes a painting now in Chicago, The Mocking of Christ (1865), as Edouard Manet's "most straight-forwardly photographic." The passage hurtles on to make a larger point, but Fried can't resist pausing briefly to insert an explanation, in the form of a list of photographic clues:
the enlarged scale of the kneeling soldier in the left foreground, the uncharacteristically unified mise-en-scene of the composition as a whole ... and a particularly revealing detail, the embarrassingly contemporary character of Christ's overlarge feet, which ... show unmistakable signs of having worn modern shoes.
For Fried, The Mocking of Christ projects an awkward literalism: "the sense," as he puts it, "that the originals of all the figures were actual persons dressed in makeshift costumes and holding poses in the artist's or the photographer's studio." Fried unmistakably suggests--though he never directly asserts--that The Mocking of Christ depended on a lost photograph. (1)
Suppose for a moment that Fried's intuition is right. We know that Manet occasionally adapted details from commercial portraits-- The Execution of Maximilian , the subject of a recent exhibition at MOMA, being the best-known instance of this kind of public-source adaptation. (2) Fried's example would be something very different. If there were photographic sources for The Mocking of Christ , presumably the photographer, or at least the director of the photograph, was Manet himself. If this is true, it's easy to see why no direct evidence would survive. It would have been photographs like this, his own photographs , as opposed to public sources, that Manet would have been free to suppress. It may sound melodramatic to suppose that Manet destroyed any traces of such images, but, in fact, doing so would have been sensibly self-protective. In the 1860s, painters were already being "outed" for working from photographs. (3) So Fried's intuition seems to lead to an impasse. How can we ever be certain that hypothetical "Manet photographs" did (or did not) exist? They would have to remain a hunch, a nagging, hopelessly subjective possibility--unless some kind of indirect evidence could be found.
It turns out that such evidence--not proof, but something a good deal more persuasive than Fried's clues--was already discovered, more than 30 years ago, by an art historian named Beatrice Farwell. Her argument is ingenious, and its implications are, at the very least, intriguing. If Farwell is right, Manet's relationship to photography was far from incidental: it was formative, intensely self-conscious and interestingly short-lived. Far from reducing Manet to a furtive copyist, her work makes Manet's sophistication and courage more striking than ever. Manet may have transformed painting not by simply appropriating--or resisting--the look of photographs, but by creating something more complicated: a deliberate, co-optive critique of photographic vision.
Many writers have remarked that Manet's dark-and-light tonal separations resemble those of contemporary photographs. Farwell was the first person to think about this resemblance carefully and to frame it in studio terms, focusing especially on the issue of lighting. She began by observing that a large group of Manet paintings, including nearly all his best-known, breakthrough images ( Olympia , Dejeuner sur l'herbe , The Fifer and 16 others) were lit in an unusual way: the depicted light shines forward , from the viewers' position. Lighting professionals sometimes refer to frontal lighting as "flat lighting" because of its peculiar effects: shade concentrates at the edges of forms; light areas bleach; surface texture and detail are suppressed; backgrounds go dim or black. Art historians had noticed these effects in the paintings, but interpreted them as stylistic choices--Manet's famous "elimination of middle tones," his flatness, his Hispanicism. Of course, they were stylistic choices--but they were also consequences of a prior choice, a studio decision. Frontal lighting should have been recognized long ago as a precondition of Manet's breakthrough style. It gave Manet's early images their startling, nocturnal brightness. Frontal lighting made possible the look that we associate with Manet.
Before Farwell, the only writer to focus on frontal lighting was not a Manet scholar at all, but the maverick philosopher Michel Foucault. In a lecture delivered in 1971, Foucault dwelled at length on the way that Manet's light often enters the scene "perpendicularly"--not from left or right, but from the front, from "our" position. (4) Foucault was interested in the way this viewer-side lighting sharpened the pictures' intimacy-- heightening our eerie rapport with Olympia , for example. But he didn't stop to consider the history of this lighting--to see that it was not just psychologically effective, but also new.
To modern eyes, accustomed to the effects of flash photography, frontal lighting no longer seems remarkable. In the 19th century, however, it was extremely rare. Nothing like Manet's sustained, conspicuous reliance on frontal lighting had been seen in European painting before. (5) The reasons are practical: under frontal light, a painter's shadow is likely to fall across his canvas as he works. Worse, frontal light suppresses the effect of volume--an essential aim of European illusionism. In photography, however, frontal light is natural and convenient. The first rule for outdoor snapshots, "shoot with the sun at your back," is an injunction to prefer frontal light--an injunction that makes sense because frontal light ensures even, overall exposures. Front-lit imagery arrived with the advent of photography. By the 1860s, it was common enough to be routinely disparaged in technical manuals. (6) Manet's lighting, in other words, was an import from another medium.
Frontal lighting was only the beginning of Farwell's case. In a succinct, 10-page discussion of the topic, she offered a trove of supporting evidence, ranging from the prevalence of the "direct gaze" in Manet's paintings (7) to the possibility, based on archival discoveries, that Manet's favorite subject, Victorine Meurent, had worked as a photographers' model before she began posing for Manet. (8) But the most persuasive, and fascinating, of Farwell's arguments hinged on a single painting, The Dead Christ and the Angels --a painting first exhibited in the Salon of 1864, now owned by the Metropolitan Museum .
Again, Farwell started by thinking about lighting. The angel beside Christ is lit in a conventional way, as though from a window off to the upper right. But the light that illuminates the Christ figure shines forward and upward from a source near the floor: Christ's knees are brilliantly illuminated, his chest and face dramatically dim. This rising angle leaves no doubt: what's being depicted--and depicted with extreme, virtuosic naturalism--is some kind of artificial light. (9) But in 1864, when Dead Christ was exhibited, the technology of artificial lighting was still in its infancy. The few bright light sources available--arc lamps, for example--were highly volatile, erratic and dangerous. It would have been difficult, perhaps impossible, Farwell suggested, for Manet to paint such transient light effects from direct observation. (10) What he could have done was to photograph a model under arc light and work from the photograph. Arc lights were durable enough for taking indoor photographs--in fact, they were developed largely by photographers, and most famously by Manet's friend Nadar. If Farwell is right, that is, if the depiction of bright artificial light itself strongly implies photographic sourcing, then Dead Christ shows Manet to have been an "early adopter" of both of the great visual technologies of the mid-19th century.
Nadar, who had opened his "electric portrait studio" just four years earlier, was fond of harsh, simple, frequently frontal light effects. Farwell could have mentioned other links as well: the two men favored similarly spare settings, coarse costumes and exotic props; Manet's etching of their mutual friend Baudelaire was based on a Nadar photograph; Nadar photographed a Spanish guitarist in the same year that Manet painted his Guitarrero (1860). (11) But Farwell didn't dwell on the possibility, however tantalizing, of a Manet/Nadar technical connection: her main point was very simple, that Manet's links to photography are substantial enough to warrant a full-scale, thorough, scholarly investigation. Clement Greenberg, who had discussed Farwell's conjectures with her in the mid-1960s, was intrigued enough to mention the possible influence of "frontally lit photographs" in a 1967 article. (12) But neither Greenberg, nor anyone else, has ever taken up Farwell's challenge.
Farwell's conjectures first appeared in her 1973 University of California dissertation, "Manet and the Nude: A Study of Iconography in the Second Empire ," which was published in 1981. (13) Her colleagues "just weren't interested," as Farwell recalls with chagrin. In a famous essay published a few years later, Kirk Varnedoe undercut Farwell's very premise. Varnedoe argued that the few photographs Degas, Manet and their peers made use of were "terminally utilitarian" and "totally dissolved in the creative process." (14) As these testy phrases suggest, Varnedoe's essay was a polemic--and an effective one. Farwell, by contrast, was a modest and hesitant writer. In a climate dominated by Varnedoe's powerful certainty, her suggestions seemed inconsequential, as well as unlikely. The whole question of photographic influence had been relegated to the margins. The irony is that, a century or so earlier, intellectual priorities were very different. The question of photographic influence was in fact the paramount pictorial issue of the 1850s and early 1860s--that is, of Manet's own youth.
Manet came of age in the era of "Daguerreotypomania," when photographs first became widely available, and when their impact was a subject of passionate public controversy. In Paris during the 1850s, commercial photography studios proliferated with startling speed. The fad for commercial portraits (e.g., cartes de visite) accompanied a burgeoning taste for landscapes and anatomy studies ("academies"), which were soon followed by the first wave of photographic pornography ("academies de la rue"). The mixed feelings of the era were crystallized in Ingres's curious prohibition: "Photographs are admirable, but one must not admire them." (15) At the end of the decade, just as Manet was ready to begin his public career; acrimony about photography's status reached a critical phase with the opening of a new, independent Salon for photographs, adjacent to the 1859 Salon.
Nadar, who had campaigned in favor of the new Salon, celebrated its arrival in an amiable cartoon, showing a palette and camera arm in arm like newlyweds. From Baudelaire, however, the 1859 Salons provoked a long, passionate diatribe against photography. The camera, in Baudelaire's eyes, was meant to be nothing more than a note-taking device. "The multitude" was bent on idolizing it. "A vengeful God," he fulminated, "has granted the wishes of this multitude. Daguerre was His Messiah." Delacroix followed with a calmer, more optimistic essay, "Realism and Idealism," in which he proposed that photography could be an aid to painters if they used it wisely. (16) Nadar, Baudelaire and Delacroix moved in overlapping social circles that included their younger colleague, Manet. In other words, Manet was on cordial terms with photography's most charismatic partisan, its most eloquent detractor and its most thoughtful ally. Strangely, in all the vast Manet literature, this important strand of his intellectual context has been largely ignored. The young Manet was at the center of a specifically photographic debate. That debate was not about whether painters should use photographs, but how .
"The majority of painters today," Ernest Chesneau claimed in 1859, "use the daguerreotype as their most precious aid." (17) Chesneau may have been exaggerating, but photographic use was already unquestionably widespread. The norms of the time were spongy and hypocritical, encouraging the results, but not the overt practice, of photography. And for the young Manet, disappointment might have provided an additional spur. His debut submission, executed in a coarse, sketchy, romantic idiom, was rejected from the 1859 Salon. If Farwell is right--if frontal light corresponds at least roughly to photographic use--then the extent of Manet's photographic episode is clear: frontal effects are concentrated in a small group of paintings that begin in the following year and continue through about 1867. Those years were, by all accounts, the key period of his career. So Farwell's thesis makes the centrality of photography unmistakable. What it doesn't do, though, is suggest any kind of straightforward, simple photo-dependence. The more we scrutinize Manet's front-lit picures, the more clearly we can see how exceptional his use of photography was. In the years around 1859, many other painters were looking at photographs. For Manet alone, photography seems to have motivated, and even abetted, a kind of counter-photographic style.
Where frontal lighting appears in Manet's 1560s paintings, it is usually reserved for the foreground, creating a tacit "split-light" effect. (18) But there are a few paintings where frontal lighting is uniform, where Manet's photographic reliance seems unusually complete. These pictures (including The Mocking of Christ, The Filer , and Boy Blowing Bubbles ) were mostly painted toward the end of Manet's photographic campaign, in the years 1865-67. They beg an obvious question: If Manet's art was sometimes, in Fried's words, "straightforwardly photographic," why did audiences of the time not recognize this and say so? For that matter, why wouldn't Manet's earlier photographic reliance have been apparent to his peers? Other painters were accused of using photographs: "One can guess," Theophile Gautier carped in 1861 about the paintings of Charles Negre, "from the crispness of the details, from the mathematically correct placing of the shadows, that he has taken the daguerreotype as a collaborator." (19) Gautier's own language suggests part of the answer to this puzzle. In the 1860s, photography was equated with a specific look, the look of "good" photography: crisp, sharp, highly detailed images. Observers of the time defined photography in terms of exactitude, detail and precision--as "a medium," in Delacroix's words, "for giving a completely exact rendering," showing us "all the leaves on a tree, all the tiles of a roof." (20) This unrelieved exactness, for Delacroix, was photography's great flaw. "When a photographer takes a scene," he complained, "the edge of the picture is as interesting as the center ... the subordinate parts as dominant as the main subject." Photography's problem was its busyness, its lack of selectivity, of hierarchy.
Frontal light, as we've seen, tends to suppress detail. So front-lit photographs would already have been less typically "photographic," less in keeping with the photographic expectations of Manet's audience, than other kinds of photographs. Manet evidently chose to accept and amplify these qualities. In characteristic passages such as Olympia 's torso, or the hands of the New York Dead Christ , Manet abbreviated the effects of frontal light, pushing his forms toward a startling simplicity. The descriptive leanness of these passages was utterly unlike the "all the tiles of a roof" exactness associated with photography. We might be tempted to think of this simplicity as only a tactic, a way to "disguise" photographic sources. But it was more than that. If the problem with photography as a medium was its overspecificity, then simplicity was more than just a "look"; it was an essential factor in making paintings unlike photographs. Simplicity was, in effect, an antidote to photographicity.
But simplicity was not the only counter-photographic element of Manet's style. His open, unfinished surfaces would have further distinguished his paintings from the sealed closure of successful prints. And often Manet's canvases were more than just unfinished looking--they were clumsy, awkward or glaringly incorrect. To take just one example: in Mademoiselle V ... in the Costume of an Espada , the Goya-derived bullfight scene in the background seems to collide with the front-lit main figure. By any standard, the two areas look jarringly discontinuous. Manet's critics saw disparities like these as proof of the artist's ignorance, insincerity or sheer incompetence. In the context of a clandestine photographic practice, however, errors like these might suggest a form of camouflage--the equivalent of a plagiarist's deliberate misspellings. Or they might read as hedging, evidence of lingering misgivings about photographic adaptation. These explanations have a negative cast: they make Manet seem disingenuous, or uncertain. But there is a third, far more persuasive explanation for Manet's characteristic inconsistencies.
Beginning in the 1850s, photographic images of old-master paintings (as opposed to hand-drawn lithographs) first became widely available. This meant that prints, photographs and images of paintings, all in black and white and all roughly the same size, could now be compared as easily as playing cards. These simple comparisons, juxtaposing widely scattered images, would eventually make possible the modern discipline of art history. (21) But they had more immediate consequences as well. In April of 1853, Delacroix organized a "little experiment" for some dinner guests. First he passed around a set of daguerreotypes taken by his friend Durieu. The nude models in the pictures were "poorly built, oddly shaped in places," Delacroix acknowledged, "and not very attractive generally." Then he asked his guests to examine pictures that should have been easier to enjoy, engravings by the celebrated Renaissance draftsman Marcantonio Raimondi. Delacroix had set up a contest, a face-off between nakedness and nudity, between objectivity and skill. The result was unsettling. Looking at the engravings, Delacroix recalled:
We experienced a feeling of revulsion, almost disgust, for the incorrectness, the mannerism, the lack of naturalness, despite the quality of style--the only thing one could admire. Yet at that moment we could no longer admire it. (22)
This passage is one of the few glimpses we have of a historical watershed--the moment when photographs defamiliarized the art of the past. "This machine-art," Delacroix complained, "spoils the masterpieces." Eventually, though, Delacroix imagined that photography would lead to new advances in painting. "Truly, if a (painter) of genius should use the daguerreotype as it ought to be used," Delacroix confidently predicted, "he will raise himself to heights unknown to us."
Manet may well have known the story of Delacroix's "little experiment." He may even have set out to fulfill Delacroix's prophecy (Manet's own use of Raimondi, in Dejeuner sur l'herbe, is oddly reminiscent of Delacroix's account). But the more important point is that for Manet's entire generation, Delacroix's "little experiment" pointed to a new studio condition. With photographs at one's fingertips, the art of the past was more directly available than ever before--but at the same time more vulnerable . The relatively freewheeling naturalism of the old masters did not always meet the new standard of verisimilitude. By 1859, the repercussions of this new postphotographic sensitivity were widely visible. In the official Salon, "correctness"--a bland, mechanically precise naturalism--was triumphant. Increasingly, established painters aimed to compete with photography on its own terms. The correctness, detail, high finish and, above all, the scrupulous uniformity of Salon naturalism made it implicitly photographic.
Manet's manner of depiction, however, was not uniform; it was instead flamboyantly variable. This inconsistency, as much as the presence of errors themselves, distinguished Manet from his Salon rivals. "The strange thing," Castagnary wrote, "is that Manet is as soft as he is hard." Other critics shared this bafflement over Manet's "inequality of execution," his singular unevenness, the way he shifts from "slip-shod" to "well-handled" passages, the way he "pleases and displeases at once." (23) The key point, though, is that in this respect Manet's paintings were more like the traditional paintings he admired. Titian, the artist Manet emulated most often, is perhaps the most strikingly capricious of the old masters, capable of shifting--as he does in the Fete Champetre , for example--from the foreground's superb naturalism to a casual, almost careless handling of background vignettes. (24) The odd sketchiness of the Espada bullfight, of the Dejeuner 's rear bather and of so many of Manet's foreground/background disparities, may well have been intended as a reversion to this kind of hierarchical attentiveness. Manet may have seen incorrectness in specifically historical terms: as a form of archaism, a return to the variability of prephotographic painting.
Manet's prolific and puzzling allusions to earlier art (to Titian and Raimondi, to Velazquez, Goya, Murillo, van Dyck, Chardin, Watteau and others) make sense as emblems of a kind of conservatism, as efforts to cast his painting's dissident facture as not new, but old. If that's true, the three chief hallmarks of Manet's early style--frontal lighting, variable facture and historicism--were elements of a single polemic, a polemic whose target was the postphotographic naturalism of the Salon. We tend to think of Manet as subverting tradition, but, in fact, he may have been trying to defend it in the face of photography's ascendancy. In proposing his alternative, prephotographic model, Manet was attacking the pompiers from the right. Manet's goal was a kind of pictorial variation. In appropriate zones of a given picture, correctness and incorrectness could coexist; verisimilitude and casual improvisation could each have its place. As the bullfighting metaphors of Mademoiselle V ... in the Costume of an Espada suggest, this kind of painting could seduce and provoke by switching registers, by pivoting, by being light on its feet.
No doubt Manet's motives for using photography were mixed; he may have begun simply by wishing to compete with the Salon painters on their own terms. But by the time he painted Dejeuner sur l'herbe , Dead Christ , and the Espada , (25) it seems likely that Manet was consciously addressing the central pictorial challenge of the years around 1859--the challenge of photography. He responded by recuperating precisely those qualities that Delacroix had singled out in Raimondi: incorrectness, mannerism, lack of naturalness and "the quality of style." But he recuperated them as part of a painterly continuum. Within that continuum, photographic and nonphotographic sources could cohabit in complicated, intermittent, zonelike ways. Ironically, a purely sketch-like painting would have been less disparate, less heterogeneous--and hence, less radically unlike the formal continuity of photography. In short, Manet co-opted photographs in an effort to counter photography, to push painting back toward its prephotographic past--a past that turned out, instead, to be its future.
The spectacular "Manet/Velazquez" exhibition that toured New York and Paris a couple of years ago enshrined a view of Manet as a Hispanicist, a painter inspired by earlier painting. Farwell's conjectures subvert this account. Far from being a model of painting's self-sufficiency, Manet may represent the beginning of a long lovers' quarrel with technology--the first chapter, as it were, of a patchily understood history that leads, by still little-known byways, to the age of Richter. But Hispanicism was not simply window dressing, nor was Manet merely a pioneering importer of photographic effects. In a sense, he was Richter's opposite: an artist intent not on acknowledging photography's power, but on subsuming and subordinating it. Our very failure to recognize Manet's photographicity is, in part, a measure of his success. Farwell makes Manet a more duplicitous artist, but also a more purposeful, historically imaginative, and relevant one. Above all, her work suggests the need for a new exhibition, one that could illuminate the earliest origins of our own photographic complicity: not "Manet/Velazquez," but "Manet/Nadar."
(1.) Michael Fried, Manet's Modernism, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1996, p. 333. Fried is not the only writer to imply the existence of Manet photographs: Jean Clay, writing in October, made similar suggestions about Olympia . See his "Ointments, Make-up, Pollen" in October 27, Winter 1983, pp. 3-44.
(2.) Thanks to new research by Elizabeth Anne McCauley, the number of documented instances now stands at about 11, dating back to the early 1860s. McCauley says that Manet's use of photographs has "undoubtedly been underestimated." Elizabeth Anne McCauley, A.A.E. Disderi and the Carte de Visite Portrait Photograph, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1994, pp. 172-95.
(3.) The painter Adolphe Yvon hired a photographer named Bisson to make a preparatory photograph for his painting Solferino, exhibited in the 1861 Salon. When Bisson began selling copies of the photograph to the public, "Yvon was dismayed ... [since] it became demonstrably clear that he had simply copied the photograph, without making the slightest alteration." Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography, London , Penguin, 1968, p. 55.
(4.) My thanks to Svetlana Alpers for bringing Foucault's lecture to my attention. Michel Foucault, La Peinture de Manet, Paris, Editions de Seuil, 2004. See especially the section called "L'Eclairage," pp. 35-43.
(5.) With very few exceptions (among them several portraits by Ter Borch and Ingres's Jupiter and Thetis ), European paintings before Manet are predominantly side-lit. A technique that can sometimes be mistaken for frontal lighting, "modeling" (the consistent shading of forms toward their edges), is not, strictly speaking, lighting at all, since no light source is implied. It's worth noting that the artist who most strikingly combined observed light with such faux-frontal modeling effects was Titian.
(6.) "Frontal lighting was BAD photography.... Every photo manual railed against it." McCauley in an e-mail to the author dated May 6, 2003.
(7.) Farwell mentions that the prevalence of the direct gaze "suggests the portrait photographer." (As anyone who has sat for a painted portrait knows, a sustained mutual gaze is psychologically awkward, whereas for many photographic subjects, it requires an effort of will not to stare into the lens.) Fried acknowledges Farwell's thesis, but doesn't develop it further--surprising, given his interest in spectatorship. It would seem that a new confrontational frankness, what Kermit Champa calls Manet's "spectator-contracting gaze," was a corollary to photographic use. Beatrice Farwell, Manet and the Nude: A Study of Iconography in the Second Empire, New York , Garland Publications, 1981.
(8.) Farwell reproduces a number of mildly pornographic 1850s photographs of a young model who resembles Meurent. One of these photographs bears a striking resemblance to the composition of Olympia .
(9.) The lighting on Christ's body itself is painted with remarkable coherence and assurance. But the sheet beside him is another matter. Two prominent black cast shadows--the shadows of his right thumb and leg--fall aberrantly downward. Apparently, in an effort to reconcile two disparate light effects, Manet suggested a third, overhead, source.
(10.) There were other types of light sources available. But gas lamps, according to the theatrical historian Mary Henderson, would have been too hazy, soft and weak to be practical--except in arrays of multiple lights, clearly not the case here. A third available technology, Bengal light (also called limelight), had liabilities similar to electric lighting, plus it released "vast amounts of choking fumes." This is a topic, obviously, that specialists will need to assess. See Chris Howes, To Photograph Darkness: A History of Underground Flash Photography, Carbondale , Southern Illinois University Press, 1990, pp. 4-8. Farwell might have mentioned that the location of the light source also supports her thesis: Manet would have been painting with a blindingly bright lamp virtually in his lap. A further corroborating point: Manet's curious silence about his use of artificial lighting.
(11.) McCauley notes that Nadar, especially in his early days on the rue St. Lazare, was appreciated by the small, elitist, bohemian market, the "sitters who dared to be different." If Manet took up elements of Nadar's practice, it would have been a very particular, and particularly congenial, kind of photography that he emulated. Elizabeth Anne McCauley, Industrial Madness: Commercial Photography in Paris , 1848-1871, New Haven and London , Yale University Press, 1994, p. 141.
(12.) According to Farwell, their conversations took place in 1965-66, before she left New York for California . In a January 1967 Artforum article, "Manet in Philadelphia ," Greenberg suggested that the "syncopated kind of shading-modeling that [Manet] adopted ... was not entirely new; there were precedents, among them the very recent one of photography. In frontally lit photographs especially, the shading becomes compact and patchlike, because it skips so many of the intermediate gradations of light-and-dark value that the sculpturally oriented painting of Renaissance tradition contrived to see ..." (my italics).
(13.) For bibliographical details, see note 10. The book was not reviewed. The few scholarly references to Farwell's photography thesis I have found are brief and, except for Fried's, unsympathetic.
(14.) Kirk Varnedoe, from "The Artifice of Candor: Impressionism and Photography Reconsidered," Art in America , January 1980, pp. 66-78.
(15.) The years 1859 to 1862 may have been the key period of photographic controversy in France: notable events included the celebrated Mayer and Pierson case, which established photography as an art under French copyright law; the ensuing petitions of protest signed by Ingres, Flandrin, Puvis de Chavannes and others; and publications like Menut-Alophe's Le Passe, Le Present, et l'Avenir de la Photographie and Mayer and Pierson's La Photographie (1862), which argued, "No artists today would execute a portrait without first having photographs taken of a model." For a discussion of this context, see Scharf, Art and Photography, pp. 142-63, and McCauley, Industrial Madness.
(16.) Baudelaire and Delacroix, quoted in Scharf, pp. 145 and 146, respectively.
(17.) Chesneau added, "They won't deprive themselves of it [photography]." Quoted in Scharf, p. 144.
(18.) Paintings with split, or composite, light effects include Dead Christ, Dejeuner sur l'herbe , Incident of the Bull Ring and Olympia . It's worth noting a curious pattern among these paintings. Their front-lit areas display a harder, more assured draftsmanship. Side-lit areas tend to be sketchier, less spatially secure, closer in handling to the fluttery, spirited awkwardness of Manet's later career. Farwell didn't mention this correlation between lighting and draftsmanship, but obviously it would have supported her claims. Alain de Leiris, the author of the only book on Manet's drawings, mentions that he was "not a draftsman." Alain de Leiris, The Drawings of Edouard Manet , Berkeley , University of California Press , 1969.
(19.) Gautier quoted in Scharf, p. 147.
(20.) From Delacroix's essay "Realism and Idealism," quoted in Scharf, p. 146.
(21.) For a fascinating discussion of the beginnings of reproductive photography, see McCauley, Industrial Madness . Interestingly, one of the first published albums of reproductive prints was of Spanish masters, including Velazquez.
(22.) Eugene Delacroix, Journal 1822-1863, Paris , Plon, 1980, p. 350. Trans. the author.
(23.) Castagnary, et al. quoted in George Heard Hamilton , Manet and his Critics , New Haven and London , Yale University Press, 1954, pp. 45-47.
(24.) T.J. Clark makes a similar point about Velazquez and Hals, suggesting that Manet looked back for guidance to the example of their "palpable and frank inconsistency." But Titian's inconsistencies were more characteristic and idiomatic, and he was the artist Manet chose to emulate most overtly. To pick up on Manet's own cues, we would have to see paintings like the Dejeuner as a historically specific return to, or intensification of, the perceptual amalgam of the Venetian Renaissance.
(25.) Very conjecturally, it's possible to distinguish three phases of Manet's photographic use. The paintings that won Manet his first public acclaim, the Guitarrero and the portrait of his parents, were tentative trials of photographic adaptation. They were followed by more ambitiously counter-photographic efforts, Dejeuner sur l'herbe and Portrait of Madame V ... in the Costume of an Espada-- the highlights, in my view, of Manet's photographic campaign. Their mixed reception may have pushed Manet toward more wholesale photographic reliance in paintings like The Mocking of Christ . The stresses of covert reliance meant that the campaign was doomed to be short-lived.
Thanks to Christopher Wood and David Cohen for their incredulity; to Anne McCauley, Juliet Wilson-Bareau, Carol Armstrong, Alexander Nagel, Louise Lippincott, Gary Tinterow, David Hockney, Alex Katz, Michael Fried, Darsie Alexander and Ann Belsey for their helpful e-mails aud conversations; and, above all, to Svetlana Alpers and Blake Gopnik for their disputatious encouragement.