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Lot #4031
Claude Monet Autograph Letter Signed on Manet's 'Olympia'

Monet negotiates for the placement of "l'Olympia d'Edouard Manet" in the Louvre

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Estimate: $10000+
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Monet negotiates for the placement of "l'Olympia d'Edouard Manet" in the Louvre

ALS in French, signed “Claude Monet,” two pages on two adjoining sheets, 8 x 12.25, March 27, 1890. Handwritten letter from his famous home at "Giverny par Vernon," commenting on the "Olympia" of Eduard Manet and the bureaucratic difficulties connected with the installation of it in one of the world's most famous art museums, the Louvre. He requests that the masterwork be exhibited in Paris's Musée du Luxembourg until it is suitable for the Louvre. Includes a letter to Monet signed by Gustave Larroumet, a French art historian and administrator, one page both sides, 8.25 x 10.75, February 24, 1890, responding to one of Monet's inquiries related to Manet's "Olympia." In fine condition, with some faint toning and light edge creasing.

Edouard Manet’s painting 'Olympia,' an arrestingly bold nude of a reclining prostitute, immediately sparked controversy upon its unveiling at the 1865 Paris Salon. Later recognized as one of the artist’s true masterpieces, Monet spearheaded a public campaign to raise money for the French government to purchase the painting. Monet's letters on the subject—mostly sent to those within his artistic circle—are highly coveted. By February 1890, Monet had raised about 20,000 francs to purchase the great work and announced its donation to the French national museums. As the law prevented the Louvre from exhibiting works until their creators were ten years deceased (Manet died in 1883), 'Olympia' was first shown at the Musée du Luxembourg, then at the Musée de l'Art Contemporary of Paris. By order of Georges Clemenceau, Olympia finally took its place in the Louvre in 1907.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #707 - Ended February 22, 2024

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