Juliet Wilson-Bareau is an art historian specializing in the work of Francisco Goya and Édouard Manet. After working with Tomás Harris on his catalogue raisonné of Goya’s prints (1964), she co-authored the catalogue of Goya’s entire œuvre with Pierre Gassier and François Lachenal (1971). In the late ’70s she turned her attention to Manet’s prints and paintings, with numerous publications and exhibitions. She is currently working on a catalogue of Goya drawings with the Prado, and on the Art Institute of Chicago’s online catalogue of Manet’s works.

Manet’s Absinthe Drinker

Fig. 1. Édouard Manet, The Absinthe Drinker (1858–59/1867–72), oil on canvas 180.5 x 105.6 cm. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen.

Why did Édouard Manet choose to send an almost life-size painting of an alcoholic vagrant to the prestigious Paris Salon in 1859 (Fig. 1)? It was his first attempt at the Salon, and it failed. At 27, having left the studio of Thomas Couture in 1856 Read More