About This Artwork

Édouard Manet
French, 1832-1883

Beggar with Oysters (Philosopher), 1865/67

Oil on canvas
187.3 x 108 cm (73 3/4 x 42 1/2 in.)
Inscribed lower left: Manet

Arthur Jerome Eddy Memorial Collection, 1931.504

By age 30, Édouard Manet had gained recognition at the state-sponsored Salon exhibition in Paris and established himself as the artist to watch, creating new imagery for contemporary works that translated Old Master painting into a modern idiom. Here he looked to the 17th-century Baroque artist Diego Velázquez, whose two paintings of world-weary philosophers (Aesop and Menippus, both c. 1638) Manet had admired that year at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Like Velázquez’s representation of the ancient stoics (whose poverty is associated with wisdom), Manet’s beggar-philosophers fit into the popular notion of the social outcast as a seer possessing rare insight.

This painting and Beggar with a Duffle Coat were probably conceived as companion pieces.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Avenue de l’Alma, Exposition particulière Manet, 1867, no. 31 or 32, as Philosophe.

Paris, Cercle de L’Union Artistique, 1870, no cat.

Paris, École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Exposition posthume Manet, January 1884, cat. 29 or 30.

New York, National Academy of Design, Works in Oil and Pastel by the Impressionists of Paris, April 10–May 25, 1886, cat. 244.

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Loan Exhibition of Selected Works of Old and Modern Masters Being the Annual Exhibition of the Antiquarians of the Art Institute, January 1–23, 1898, cat. 42.

New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by Édouard Manet, November 29–December 13, 1913.

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Late Arthur Jerome Eddy, September 19–October 22, 1922, cat. 52.

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Exhibition of The Arthur Jerome Eddy Collection of Modern Painting and Sculpture, December 22, 1931–January 17, 1932, cat. 11.

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1–November 1, 1933, cat. 330.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Museum, Manet and Renoir, November–December 1933, no cat.

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1–November 1, 1934, cat. 251.

Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Édouard Manet 1832–1883, November 3–December 11, 1966; traveled to Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, January 13–February 19, 1967, cat. 73 [Chicago venue only].

Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Manet 1832–1883, April 22–August 1, 1983, cat. 90; traveled to New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 10–November 27, 1983.

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Manet as a Printmaker: Works from the Permanent Collection, April 20–September 12, 1985, no cat.

Paris, Musée d’Orsay, Manet/Velasquèz: la manière espagnole au XIXe siècle, September 16, 2002–January 12, 2003, cat. 90; traveled to New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manet/Velázquez. The French Taste for Spanish Painting, March 4–June 8, 2003, cat. 145.

Madrid, Museo del Prado, Manet en el Prado, October 13, 2003–January 11, 2004, cat. 70.

Fort Worth, Kimbell Museum of Art, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–November 2, 2008, cat. 2.

Publication History

Hippolyte Babou, “Les dissidents de l’exposition: M. Édouard Manet,” Revue libérale 2 (June–July 1867), pp. 288–89.

Eugène Muntz, “Exposition internationale de Munich,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts ser. 2, 2 (1869), p. 309.

Duranty, “L’Exposition de Peinture au Cercle de L’Union Artistique”, Paris-Journal, February 19, 1870.

Jules-Michel Godet, “Œuvres de M. Ed. Manet (24 photographies),” Bibliographie de la France, 189 (April 20, 1872), cat. 5.

Anatole Godet, Exposition rétrospective de l’œuvre d’Edouard Manet, Paris, École des Beaux-Arts, 6 au 28 janvier 1884 (Paris, 1884), [no pag.].

Joséphin Péladan, “Le Procédé de Manet, d’après l’exposition faite à l’ École des Beaux-Arts,” L’Artiste (February 1884), p. 109.

Arthur J. Eddy, “Édouard Manet, Painter,” Brush and Pencil 1, 5 (February 1898), pp. 136 (ill.), 138.

Théodore Duret, Histoire d’Édouard Manet et de son œuvre (Paris: H. Floury, 1902), pp. 70, 208, no. 65.

Théodore Duret, Manet and the French Impressionists (London: Grants Richards and Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott company, 1910), p. 219, no. 65.

Julius Meier-Graefe, Édouard Manet (Munich: R. Piper, 1912), pp. 82, 310, pl. 46.

Antonin Proust, Édouard Manet (Paris: H. Laurens, 1913), pp. 53, 164.

Emil Waldmann, Édouard Manet (Berlin: Paul Cassirer), 1923, p. 46.

Jacques-Émile Blanche, Manet (Paris: Rieder, 1924), p. 38.

M. C., “Manets in the Art Institute of Chicago,” Bulletin of The Art Institute of Chicago 18, 4 (1924), p. 47.

Étienne Moreau-Nélaton, Manet raconté par lui-même (Paris, H. Laurens, 1926), vol. 1, p. 76, fig. 79, vol. 2, p. 128, no. 29.

Théodore Duret, Histoire d’Édouard Manet et de son œuvre (Paris: Berheim-Jeune, 1926), pp. 86, 243, no. 65.

Adolphe Tabarant, Manet. Histoire catalographique (Paris: Éditions Montaigne, 1931), p. 145, cat. 104.

Paul Jamot and Georges Wildenstein, Manet (Paris: Les Beaux-Arts, éditions d’études et de documents, 1932), vol. 1, p. 130, cat. 111, vol. 2, p. 9, fig. 29.

“Manet and Renoir,” Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin 29, 158 (December 1933), p. 17.

Daniel Catton Rich, “L’Exposition d’Art Français de l’Art Institute of Chicago,” Formes (1933), p. 382.

Robert Rey, Manet (New York: French and European Publications and Paris: Hypérion Press, 1938), pp. 14, 162, pl. 44.

Lionello Venturi, Les Archives de l’Impressionnisme vol. 2 (Paris and New York: Durand-Ruel, 1939), p. 190.

Gotthard Jedlicka, Édouard Manet (Erlenbach–Zürich: E. Rentsch, 1941), pp. 83, 397.

Hans Huth, “Impressionism Comes to America,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts (April 1946), pp. 236 (ill.), 242.

Adolphe Tabarant, Manet et ses Œuvres (Paris: Gallimard, 1947), pp. 115, 172, 536, 605 (ill.), no. 111.

Michel Florisoone, Manet (Monaco: Documents d'art, 1947), pp. XIX, XXI.

Charles Fabens Kelley, “Chicago: Record Years,” Art News 51, 4 (Summer 1952), p. 108.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 269.

Anne Coffin Hanson, Édouard Manet 1832-1883, exh. cat. (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1966), pp. 45, 92 (ill.), 93, cat. 73.

Frederick A. Sweet, “Great Chicago Collectors,” Apollo 84 (September 1966), p. 197.

Sandra Orienti and Phoebe Pool, The Complete Paintings of Manet (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1967), p. 95, cat. 95 (ill.).

Anne Coffin Hanson, “Manet’s Subject Matter and a Source of Popular Imagery,” The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 3 (1968), pp. 74, 76 (ill.), 77–78, fig. 18.

Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein, Édouard Manet, catalogue raisonné (Lausanne: La Bibliothèque des Arts, 1975), vol. 1, p. 100-01 (ill.), cat. 99.

Anne Coffin Hanson, Manet and the Modern Tradition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1977), p. 65.

Marilyn Brown, Gypsies and Other Bohemians: The Myth of the Artist in Nineteenth-Century France (Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1985), p. 81.

Kathleen Adler, Manet (Topsfield, Massachusetts: Salem House/Phaidon, 1986), pp. 80–82, fig. 69.

Horst Keller, Edouard Manet (Munich: Bruckmann, 1989), p. 27, ill. 19.

Jean C. Harris, Edouard Manet: The Graphic Work, a Catalogue Raisonné (San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1990), p. 150.

Éric Darragon, Manet (Paris: Éditions Citadelle, 1991), pp. 162, 165, fig. 86.

Vivien Perutz, Édouard Manet (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press and London: Associated University Presses, 1993), pp. 48, 67–68, fig. 38.

Kathleen Pyne, Art and the Higher Life: Painting and Evolutionary Thought in Late Nineteenth-Century America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996), pp. 226–27, fig. 5.1.

Michael Fried, Manet’s Modernism or, the Face of Painting in the 1860s (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 333–34, 336.

Isabelle Cahn, Isabelle Alzieu, Stéphane Guégan, et al., Manet: Les Natures mortes (Paris: Beaux-Arts Magazine, 2000), p. 86.

Nancy Locke, Manet and the Family Romance (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), pp. 56 (ill.), 62.

Rebecca Stott, Oyster (London: Reaktion, 2004), pp. 128, 129 (ill.), 130.

Maria Teresa Benedetti, Manet (Milan: Skira, 2005), pp. 33–34, fig. 15.

Richard R. Brettell and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), vol. 1, pp. 258, 261, fig. 68b.

Gloria Groom and Douglas Druick, The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008; revised ed., Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University Press, 2010), pp. 30–31, cat. 2 (ill.).

James H. Rubin, Manet: Initial M, Hand and Eye (Paris: Flammarion, 2010), pp. 131, 134, fig. 17.

Guy Cogeval, Stéphane Guégan, and Alice Thomine-Berrada, Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay (San Francisco, Munich, New York, and Paris: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Del Monico Books, Prestel Pub., and Musée d’Orsay, 2010), p. 235, fig. 44.

Douglas Druick, “Material Perspectives: The Art Object, the Art Museum, and the History of Art,” in Histoire de l’Art du XIXe Siècle (Paris: École du Louvre, 2012), pp. 276, figs. 4–5.

Ownership History

The artist’s studio, rue Guyot, Paris; sold to Galeries Durand-Ruel, Paris for 1,500 francs as one of four “Philosophes”, in January 1872 [Durand-Ruel, Paris stock no. 952 as “le Philosophe,” see New York 2003; in Paris 2002–3 the purchase price is given as 1000 francs; mentioned in a list, prepared by Manet in winter 1871/72, of paintings the artist recently sold to Durand-Ruel as “4 philosophes,” valued at 6,000 francs, see Moreau-Nélaton, 1926, vol. 1, p. 132]; sold as a group of three “Philosophes” to Jean-Baptiste Faure, Paris for 5,750 francs on November 10, 1882 [according to Paris and New York 2003]; sold for 10,000 francs to Galeries Durand-Ruel, Paris, on October 16, 1894 [Durand-Ruel, Paris stock no. 3136, according to New York 2003]; sold for 20,000 francs to Arthur Jerome Eddy (died 1920), Chicago, between 1894 and 1898 [painting was lent to Chicago 1898 by Eddy, see Chicago 1898]; by descent to his wife, Mrs. Eddy and his son, Jerome O. Eddy; bequeathed to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1931.




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