Guerre Civile

Accession Number

Guerre Civile

Édouard Manet

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
lithograph on laid China paper

15 1/2 in x 19 7/8 in (39.37 cm x 50.48 cm);22 1/16 in x 28 1/16 in (56.04 cm x 71.28 cm);19 1/4 in x 24 7/16 in (48.89 cm x 62.07 cm);15 11/16 in x 19 15/16 in (39.85 cm x 50.64 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
In this large lithograph Manet depicts the heavy toll of civil war. Although the title of the image (printed on the lower border below the image) is generic, the print is clearly a commentary on the Paris Commune (March-May 1871). Manet supported the cause of the Commune, which was an attempt by disgruntled Parisian citizens to secede from France following the establishment of the initially conservative Third Republic. The uprising was brutally suppressed.

In the central figure, Manet quotes his own earlier image of a dead torreador. The composition, lithographic format and subject matter also recall the artist Honoré Daumier's haunting 1834 depiction of police brutality, Rue Transnonain

Physical Description
A man laying on his back dominates this landscape-oriented black-and-white lithograph. He is fully dressed. Positioned diagonally across the foreground and depicted using dramatic foreshortening, his face is near the viewer (a mustache is visible, and he wears a hat reminiscent of a kepi, or military hat), while his stiff upturned feet lead the eye towards the ramshackle wall of paving stones that cuts horizontally across the top third of the composition. A pair of feet peeking out of striped trousers jut into the lower right foreground, while stones and possibly a wheel fill the left foreground. Hazy fences and buildings rise in the background empty stretches of street.

The work is signed on the stone (on one of the piled-up paving stones) in the front left foreground: “Manet / 1871”.

Title printed in typeface below the image: "GUERRE CIVILE"

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
cityscapes (representations)
civil wars
political art

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted