Édouard Manet’s Nana

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“When Monsier Zola’s novel L’Assommoir appeared, following the impression given in this work, Monsier Manet painted Nana at eighteen years of age, full-grown and already a tart. She is essentially Parisian, a woman who has grown a little plump with well-being, slender-waisted, and seductive, if not elegant… Since then Nana has grown. In the mind of her creator, Monsier Zola, she has mutated into a proud, opulent, buxom blonde, with a peasant-like bloom, who no longer ressembles Monsier Manet’s Nana. Who was right? The Impressionist or the Naturalist?”

Félicien Champsaur, Édouard Manet 1832-1883 The First of the Moderns, by Gilles Néret, 2008, Taschen

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