Manet’s Boy with Cherries (1860)
Manet’s Boy with Cherries (1860), an early work, is a good example of how one great master identifies with another even when young and little known. Manet painted it a few years after his trip to Italy where he had seen and copied works by the fifteenth-century master, Perugino, who had significantly been Raphael’s teacher.
The model here is said to be Manet’s studio assistant who hanged himself in the studio a few months later. Of course, we have no idea what the boy looked like and it is doubtful that this is a good likeness. Poetic painters are rarely interested in an accurate resemblance because their primary concern is to make the subject an aspect of their own minds.
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More Works by Manet
See how Manet's identification with Courbet is recognized by a later artist who then used it in his portrait of yet another artist.
Skating on ice is like drawing lines on the mirrored surface of the artist's mind
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