The purchase of Manet's Olympia

Monet, Claude, French painter (1840-1926). Autograph letter signed ("Claude Monet").

Giverny, 20. II. 1890.

8vo. 1 p. on bifolium. In purple ink.


To the painter Jacques-Émile Blanche (1861-1942), concerning the collective purchase of Édouard Manets famous "Olympia". Monet confirms the receipt of 500 francs from Blanche's father, the renowned psychiatrist Anotine Émile Blanche: "Je vous accuse réception de la somme de cinq cents francs, que Monsieur votre père m'a envoyé pour votre souscription à l'achat de l'Olympia de Manet [...]".

In 1888, Monet had learned from John Singer Sargent that Manet's widow Suzanne was experiencing financial difficulties and hence was negotiating to sell the "Olympia" to an American collector. In order to preserve the scandalous painting for the French public, he started a subscription among his friends and other benefactors, including Edgar Degas, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Stéphane Mallarmé, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Antonin Proust, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, and John Singer Sargent. Ultimately, Monet successfully offered 19,415 francs to Suzanne Manet in March 1890 and donated the painting to the Louvre. Today, Manet's masterpiece is on display at the Musée d'Orsay.

Ink somewhat smudged, but well preserved. With collector's mark in pencil.

Art.-Nr.: BN#57123 Schlagwort: