Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
'Self Portrait in a Straw Hat'
Vigée Le Brun painted a number of self portraits. Here she presents herself both as an elegant society lady and an artist holding palette and brushes. It is based on Rubens’s Portrait of Susanna Lunden (?), which was formerly known as Le Chapeau de Paille (The Straw Hat).
Eva Gonzalès’s fellow artist Berthe Morisot was an intimate friend of Manet. The two women she depicts boating on the lake in the Bois de Boulogne are possibly professional models. The scene is painted in bold, back- and -forth brushwork in a light tonality.
'Self Portrait at the Age of 34'
Rembrandt painted a large number of self portraits. This confident and assured self portrayal was seen by Gwen John during visits to the Gallery as a student at the Slade School of Fine Art, and she adapted the pose in her own self portrait.
Laurent de La Hyre
'Allegory of Grammar'
As with the personification of Painting, the Seven Liberal Arts were traditionally represented by women. Here the woman waters a plant, symbolic of the nurturing young minds need to grow
'Flowers in a Glass Vase with a Tulip'
Ruysch was one of the most successful flower painters of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, working in the same tradition as Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer. Both artists would assemble arrangements of flowers which were not necessarily in season at the same moment.
'Woman with a Cat'
This intimate, tender portrait depicts Manet’s wife Suzanne Leenhoff with the family cat, Zizi. His use of parallel strokes of paint across her dress is reminiscent of the technique of pastel as practised by both himself and Gonzalès.
On loan from Tate: Purchased 1918
'The Horse Fair'
For over a year Bonheur attended the horse fair in Paris, making studies of the animals. She wore men’s clothes in order not to draw unwanted attention. The figure right at the centre looking out at the viewer is her own self portrait.
'Portrait of a Man'
Carriera was one of the most successful and renowned practitioners of pastel portraits during the eighteenth century. While the soft luminous quality of this portrait is typical of her work, its silvery tonality is more unusual.
'Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria'
Artemisia Gentileschi, the most renowned woman artist of the seventeenth century, trained under her father Orazio Gentileschi. She painted a number of self portraits, probably as a means of self promotion.
In this portrait of Eva Gonzalès, Manet has looked to women’s self portraits of the eighteenth century. His only pupil, Gonzalès became a successful artist in her own right.