15/01/14 Aggiornato il:

Eva Gonzalès ~ Impressionist painter



French painter Eva Gonzalès (1849-1883) began her professional training and took lessons in drawing in 1865, from the society portraitist Charles Chaplin, who was also Mary Cassatt's teacher. She met Édouard Manet in 1869 and was to become his student, colleague and model. Manet is said to have begun a portrait of her at once which was completed on 12 March 1870 and exhibited at Salon in that year.

Édouard Manet ~ Portrait of Eva Gonzalès, 1869-1870
Édouard Manet ~ Portrait of Eva Gonzalès, 1869-1870. The painting she is shown completing here demonstrates the mastery she had achieved at that age. However, this depiction of Gonzales is less than flattering in that her dress, her posture and technique are not actually those of a professional to painting. The painting that Gonzales is working on is not her own, but actually one of Manet's. It is currently on display at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.



Like her teacher, Édouard Manet, she never exhibited with the Impressionist painters in their controversial exhibitions in Paris, but she is considered part of the group because of her painting style. She was Manet's only formal student and modeled frequently for several members of the Impressionist school.
Until 1872, she was strongly influenced by Manet but later developed her own, more personal style. During the Franco-Prussian War she evacuated to Dieppe.
She married the graphic artist Henri Guérard, and used him and her sister Jeanne Gonzales as the subjects for many of her paintings.
Her work was exhibited at the offices of the art review L'Art in 1882 and at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1883. Her career was cut short when she died in childbirth at the age of thirty-four, exactly six days after the death of her teacher, Manet. In 1885, after her death a retrospective of 88 works was held at the Salons de La Vie Moderne.


Eva Gonzalès exhibited for the first time at the Salon in 1870. Thereafter she submitted work every year to the Salon. Although she was always invited to exhibit with the other Impressionists, for some reason she preferred to show her work at the Official Salon. During the Franco-Prussian War she stayed in Dieppe. In 1879, she married a brother of the graphic artist Henri Guérard. Although her career was cut short when she died in childbirth at the age of thirty-four she became known for her characteristic style for portraiture. She included subtle emotion and richness of detail in her works, such as A Loge in the Théàtre des Italiens (1874), described as one of the most provocative paintings of its day and featured in this exhibition. After her death, a retrospective was held of eighty eight of her works at the Salons of La Vie Moderne.