The Spanish Singer

Artist: Édouard Manet (French, Paris 1832–1883 Paris)

Date: 1860

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 58 x 45 in. (147.3 x 114.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of William Church Osborn, 1949

Accession Number: 49.58.2


This painting, which reflects the Parisian vogue for Spanish art and culture during the Second Empire, won Manet his first popular and critical success in his debut at the Salon of 1861. Though the picture was admired for its realistic detail, Manet did not disguise the fact that it was composed in a studio using a model and props. The left-handed singer holds a guitar strung for a right-handed player, and his fingering suggests that he was unfamiliar with the instrument. His outfit was fashioned from costumes that Manet kept on hand; several accessories reappear in paintings in this gallery.