Les Gitanos

Accession Number

Les Gitanos

Édouard Manet

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Medium & Support
etching and softground on beige laid paper

19 5/8 in x 16 in (49.85 cm x 40.64 cm);19 5/8 in x 16 in (49.85 cm x 40.64 cm);11 1/4 in x 8 1/8 in (28.58 cm x 20.64 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Ruth W. and Clarence J. Boldt, Jr.

Subject matter
Manet made this print after one of his own full-size oil paintings. The painting itself referenced several different sources. The Gypsies combines aspects of two very different Spanish artists: the central commanding figure of the standing man is based on a royal portrait by Velázquez, while the mother and child are loosely based on paintings of peasants by Murillo. French artists freely combined Spanish “types” in their work and this pastiche (which also conjures up images of the Holy Family) must have been considered an awkward composition to Manet and may explain why he cut up his painting.

Physical Description
The main figure in this print is a man standing in contraposto pose in a generic outdoor setting. His right hand rests on his hip, a guitar is slung across his back, and a piece of cloth is tied around his head. His gaze meets that of the audience. He stands in the center of the composition. To his left is a seated woman with a naked baby in her lap; a sack lays on the ground next to her bare feet. Behind her, a standing boy leans his head backwards in order to drink from the upturned jug he holds. He is shown in profile. All of the depicted people wear simple, loose-fitting and slightly worn-looking costumes. Three-quarters of the background space is comprised of a cloudy sky; a rocky terrain is suggested in the midddle background.
The print is signed in the plate, lower right corner, "éd. Manet."

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
intaglio print

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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Rom (culture)
costume (mode of fashion)
etching (printing process)
etchings (prints)
families (kinship groups)
vessels (containers)

6 Related Resources

(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Social Justice
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Social Justice and Art in the 19th Century
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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