Monet, Claude, French painter (1840-1926). 2 autograph letters signed.

Giverny, 16 and 20 Feb. 1890.

8vo. Together 3½ pp. on 2 bifolia.


To Winnaretta Singer, Princess of Scey-Montbéliard, about the purchase of Manet's "Olympia" from his widow, in order to offer it to the Louvre.

Asking her for the sum of 2,000 francs, the subscription agreed on, so that he can transfer all of the subscriptions to Manet's widow: "Devant prendre possession de l'Olympia, et remettre ces jours ci le montant des souscriptions à Madame Manet je viens vous prier de bien vouloir me faire parvenir, le plus tôt possible, le montant de votre souscription (2000 F) que vous m'avez chargé d'inscrire sous votre nom [...]" (16 Feb. 1890).

Confirming receipt of the funds and thanking her for her contribution, not yet daring to believe in the successful realisation of the project, which he expects to be met with hatred and stupidity, pointing out that in case the museum administration should "commit the foolish mistake" of refusing the painting, it would at least remain in their possession: "Chère Madame, je vous accuse reception et vous remercie de votre envoi de Deux-mille francs pour votre souscription à l'achat de l'Olympia de Manet. Je n'ose espérer encore un succès de l'entreprise (car il faut compter avec la haine et l'imbécilité courante) mais quoi qu'il arrive le tableau nous restera acquit pour être remis à l'état en temps opportun, si l'administration actuelle commet la bêtise de le refuser [...]" (20 Feb. 1890).

It was Monet who took the initiative in 1889 to launch a subscription to buy "Olympia" from Manet's widow, in order to offer it to the Louvre. In March 1890, he was able to buy the painting from Suzanne Manet for 19,415 francs, and the painting entered the Musée du Luxembourg, despite the reluctance of the administration; it is now in the Musée d'Orsay. The wealthy Winnaretta Singer, then Princess of Scey-Montbéliard, and future Princess of Polignac, was the principal donor, with 2,000 francs.

Art.-Nr.: BN#57122 Schlagwort: