Compared to other portraits of 19th century ladies, Édouard Manet’s painting of poet Nina de Callias was scandalously exotic, with her golden bangles, bolero jacket, Algerian shirt, and flourish of a feather in her curled hair, not to mention her open, sensual pose. A little scruffy dog rests its head on her flurry of skirts from which emerges an exposed ankle, and a tumult of colorful fans decorate the wall behind her. While the shock has totally subsided for contemporary audiences, the portrait drove her estranged husband to demand Manet not show it anywhere. Fashion and the identities it offered or constrained in the mid-1860s to mid-1880s (centering on Paris) is an undercurrent in the works by the top Impressionists, along with examples of period clothing caged in glass display boxes, in Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, opening February 26 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Exhibition trailers have been around for a while now, but every once in a while one comes along that’s markedly different. The Toledo Museum of Art has one of those, for the exhibition Manet: Portraying Life, which opened at the museum yesterday.
Reuters reports that, “A new online database recording more than 20,000 works of art looted by the Nazis from Jews in France and Belgium during World War Two shows that at least half have yet to be returned to their original owners.”