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Victorine Meurent in the Costume of an Enlarge image

Victorine Meurent in the Costume of an "Espada", 1862

Édouard Manet
French, 1832 - 1883
etching and aquatint on chine
44.3 x 34.4 cm; plate: 33.4 x 28 cm
Purchased 1991
National Gallery of Canada (no. 35988)

This print is made after a painting that Manet presented at the notorious "Salon des Refusés" of 1863 (an exhibition of artists refused by the Paris Salon jury), which also included the scandalous "Luncheon in the Grass", for which Victorine Meurent posed nude. Here she switches gender roles to play the bullfighter designated to administer the final and fatal stab wound to the bull. This person was known as the "espada," derived from the Spanish for "sword." The background scene was drawn directly from Goya's "Tauromaquia" print series of 1815.

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