Discover all 14 City of Paris museums

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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Marietta, or Roman Odalisque
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Mademoiselle Fiocre
Louis-Ferdinand  Lachassaigne - Vase - Van Dyck painting his first canvas
Charles Durand dit Carolus-Duran - Mademoiselle de Lancey
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - Francis I Receives the Last Breaths of Leonardo da Vinci
Eugène Delacroix - Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha
Jacob Mardochée known as Jacob Petit - Mameluke clock
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Buste de Samuel Welles de La Valette
Gustave Courbet - Courbet au chien noir
Édouard Manet - Portrait of Théodore Duret
Louis Léopold Boilly - Portrait of Mademoiselle Athénaïs d’Albenas
Paul Gauguin - Old Man with a Stick
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Ugolino
Jan  Van Beers   - Les funérailles de Charles le Bon, Comte de Flandre, célébrées à Bruges dans l’église Saint-Christophe le 22 avril 1127
Gustave Courbet - La sieste pendant la saison des foins (montagne du Doubs)
Alfred de Dreux - Portrait of Mr and Mrs Mosselman and their two daughters
Jean-Désiré Ringel d'Illzach - Portrait of Jeanne et Mrs Albert Dammouse
Octave  Penguilly L’Haridon  - Côtes de Belleville
Gustave Doré - The Vale of Tears
Gustave Doré - L’Ascension
Camille  Pissarro - Le Pont Royal et le Pavillon de Flore
Paul Delaroche - Portrait d'Horace Delaroche
Théobald Chartran - Priam asking Achilles for the return of Hector's body
 Escalier de cristal - Ecran de cheminée

Portrait of Théodore Duret

Paris, 1832 – Paris, 1883
Oil on canvas
46,5 x 35,5 cm

After the tumultuous exhibition of the Olympia (Paris, Musée d’Orsay) that scandalised the Salon in 1865, Manet left for Spain to forget the persecution he experienced at the hands of the Parisian critics. During this short stay, he happened to meet Théodore Duret, who was dining at the same restaurant.
The new friends decided to discover Madrid together by strolling along its picturesque side streets, watching bullfights, and going to see the works of Greco in Toledo. Their visit to Prado was mainly devoted to Velazquez, whom Manet admiringly called “the painter of painters”.

Following a process borrowed from the Spanish master, Manet placed his model in a neutral space, with no boundary between the floor and walls. Only the shadows at the feet of the figure and the stool give an impression of depth. We possess a direct account of the conception of this painting thanks to the biography that Duret devoted to Manet in 1926. According to the author, the still life placed at the bottom left on a stool was added at the end, with Manet completing his painting with the luminous touch of the lemon.

As a cognac trader, Théodore Duret (1838-1929) was a keen traveller, out of professional necessity but also out of choice. He was one of the first people to take an interest in Far Eastern art and played an important role in popularising Japanism. A committed Republican, he founded the journal La Tribune (1868), with collaborators including Émile Zola and Jules Ferry. As an art critic and collector, he established himself as one of the leading proponents of the Impressionists through his purchases and publications. The portrait emphasises the dandy side of the model, who was known for his elegance.

Not without a touch of humour, Duret wrote, “I find your chap very gallant,” in his letter of thanks to the painter when he received this painting as a sign of their close friendship. He would only let go of it many years later, to donate it to the Petit Palais.

Marks Inscriptions Hall-marks: 
Signed and dated, bottom left : Manet 68
Donor, testator or seller: 
Gift of Théodore Duret, 1908
Inventory number: 
Inventory number : PPP00485
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