Edouard Manet
(Paris, 1832-1883, Paris)
Young Woman in Oriental Garb, ca. 1871
Oil on canvas, 96 x 74.5 cm
Signed lower left: Manet
Rouart/Wildenstein 175
The "Young Woman in Oriental Garb" or "The Sultana" is an isolated phenomenon in the work of Manet. Whereas Spanish, Dutch and even Japanese motifs appear in Manet’s work, either as subject-matter or as stylistic influence, the Orient, which inspired Delacroix, has disappeared from view. It is possible that Manet was impelled to do this costume-piece by the voluptuous softness of this otherwise unknown model. The painting was included, under the title "La Sultane", in an exhibition of pictures by Manet in 1871, where it was offered for 500 francs. The assumption that the painting later was given by the artist to the art critic Adrien Marx is suggested by the presence of a dedication to the latter, over-painted at a later stage but now again visible above the signature.