Artist: Édouard Manet (French, Paris 1832–1883 Paris)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 38 1/4 x 51 1/4 in. (97.2 x 130.2 cm)
Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number: 29.100.115
Manet summered at Gennevilliers in 1874, often spending time with Monet and Renoir across the Seine at Argenteuil, where Boating was painted. Beyond adopting the lighter touch and palette of his younger Impressionist colleagues, Manet exploits the broad planes of color and strong diagonals of Japanese prints to give inimitable form to this scene of outdoor leisure. Rodolphe Leenhoff, the artist’s brother-in-law, is thought to have posed for the sailor but the identity of the woman is uncertain.
Shown in the Salon of 1879, Boating was deemed "the last word in painting" by Mary Cassatt, who recommended the acquisition to the New York collectors Louisine and H.O. Havemeyer.