About this artwork
This painting and Beggar with Oysters were probably conceived as companion pieces. Édouard Manet exhibited them together in 1872, along with paintings of an absinthe drinker and a ragpicker, under the collective title Philosophers. The beggars of Paris, nonconformist types under threat from government schemes intended to drive them out of the city, held a particular fascination for Realist artists and writers. By setting his large-scale figures against empty, dark backgrounds, Manet added to their portraitlike, indeed heroic, presence. By a remarkable coincidence, at the turn of the 20th century, these two closely related works found their way by very different means to the Art Institute’s collection.
- Édouard Manet
- Beggar with a Duffle Coat (Philosopher)
- Oil on canvas
- Inscribed lower right: Manet
- 187.7 × 109.9 cm (73 7/8 × 43 1/4 in.)
- A. A. Munger Collection