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Monday, February 18, 2013

A Parrot Puts Manet and Courbet in Dialog

Courbet had the ambition to eventually win the acceptance of Académie des Beaux-Arts, and this Woman with a Parrot had been created in their terms. It was accepted at the 1866 Salon. The reactions were mixed. Many were shocked by the woman's discarded clothing and disheveled hair. Years have passed and the superb subtlety of the composition became more and more evident: the parrot and the woman are two symbols in dialog, supporting each other, putting in value each other, exotic and erotic.

And speaking about dialog, Manet made a replica to the work of Courbet: his woman is dressed, cool, and detached. It has been pointed out that this picture may be an allegory of the five senses: hearing (the parrot), taste (the orange), touch (the woman's finger and thumb that touch), smell (the flower), and sight (the monocle) [Met].



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