Manet: Inventeur du Moderne [Manet: The Man Who Invented Modernity]
an exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, April 5–July 3, 2011
Catalog of the exhibition edited by Stéphane Guégan
Paris: Gallimard/Musée d’Orsay, 297 pp., g42.00
Outside Paris’s Musée d’Orsay, lines are currently shuffling under tall billboards that reproduce, some eight times life-size, L’Amazone by Édouard Manet. An amazone is a horsewoman, and by extension the tight-fitting black riding habit she would wear in the nineteenth century, matched by a black silk top hat. Thomas Couture, Manet’s teacher, noted how this “pretty costume…chastely delineates the forms of the upper body,” and Manet’s image dramatizes the tug of interests implied in his words.