Like the flâneur who walks the city streets observing the nuances of urban life, the French Impressionists surveyed Paris in order to represent its unique character. Some of the most audacious Impressionist paintings were inspired by such observations.
In her recently published book 'Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London', Lauren Elkin considers the female equivalent to the essentially male flâneur and considers what happens when women wander city streets to observe.
This talk will consider Manet as an archetypal French flâneur and Mary Cassatt, who like Lauren Elkin, was an American woman living in Paris. How can looking through a foreign lens bring new perspectives to exploring the city and what does female flânerie bring to painting?