An Illustrated Letter, with a Still Life of Plums and Cherries An Illustrated Letter, with a Snail on a Leaf

Edouard MANET (Paris, 1832 - Paris, 1883)


‘Still life is the touchstone of the painter’, Edouard Manet once remarked to the young artist Jacques-Emile Blanche. Still life subjects account for almost one-fifth of Manet’s total output, and significant still life elements are to be found in many of his other works. Even with such scandalous works as the Olympia or Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, both painted in 1863, critics who were hostile to the paintings found time to praise the virtuosity with which Manet painted the flowers and still lives depicted within them. As the artist noted in 1875 to another colleague, ‘A painter can say all he wants to with fruit or flowers or even clouds…I should like to be the Saint Francis of still life.’