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Beggar with Oysters (Philosopher)

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883)

About this artwork

Along with Beggar with a Duffle Coat, Beggar with Oysters formed part of a series of four paintings collectively called The Philosophers. The title refers to traditional representations of the ancient stoic philosophers, whose poverty was associated with wisdom. The anonymous men in these paintings would have been recognizable to Édouard Manet’s contemporary audience as urban types—social outcasts populating the streets of Paris. By depicting them at such a large scale and set against empty, dark backgrounds, Manet subverted expectations for paint-ing at the time, granting his figures a portrait-like, even heroic presence typically reserved for noble, historical, or religious subjects. Through his format and series title, the artist encouraged viewers to see these often-disregarded people as possessing rare insight.


On View, Gallery 222


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Édouard Manet


Beggar with Oysters (Philosopher)


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Inscribed lower left: Manet


188 × 111 cm (74 × 43 5/16 in.); Framed: 223.3 × 145.5 × 17.5 cm (87 7/8 × 57 1/4 × 6 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Arthur Jerome Eddy Memorial Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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