About This Artwork

Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883)
printed by Henri Charles Guérard (French, 1846-1897)

Line in Front of the Butcher Shop, 1870–71

Etching in warm black on ivory laid paper
169 x 150 mm (image); 236 x 158 mm (plate); 267 x 178 mm (sheet)

Clarence Buckingham Collection, 1984.1123

As a member of the National Guard during the Prussian siege of 1870, Edouard Manet witnessed the misery of wartime Paris. He wrote, "[The] butcher shops open only three times a week, and there are queues in front of their doors from four in the morning, and the last in line get nothing." The abstract patterns of arrayed umbrellas in this print recall the work of the Japanese printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige. The bayonet rising above the umbrellas, however, reveals the military presence required to control the hungry crowd.

Interpretive Resources

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