REGISTERS ANOTHER DONATION IN HIS ATTEMPT TO BUY MANET’S “OLYMPIA” FROM MANET’S WIDOW FOR PRESENTATION TO THE FRENCH NATION
MONET, CLAUDE. (1840-1926). French artist; leading figure in the Impressionist movement; the term ‘Impressionism’ is derived from the title of his painting Impression Sunrise. Wonderful content, Autograph Letter Signed, “Claude Monet”, in French. 2 full separate pages, octavo. [written on the first and third leaf of one sheet, so that when open, it displays magnificently!]. ‘Giverny par Vernon Eure, March 26, ’89”. To Monsieur Bazin[?]. Monet writes:
“I ask you to forgive me for not answering sooner and thanking you for taking part in our work for Manet.
I have signed you up for 25 F [remember we need] close to 19.000F, but I think there will be great difficulties in having our gift accepted. Others are working ferociously to make our enterprise fail. We have to make it [succeed].
Also, I count on seeing you during my next trip to Paris since you are offering me your [excursion?]. But above all, don’t write anything about it. We have to be very careful. Warm regards, yours — Claude Monet”.
Manet’s painting ‘Olympia,’ sparked enormous controversy upon its unveiling at the 1865 Paris Salon. The bold nude of a reclining prostitute, flanked by her black servant maid presenting her flowers, presumably from an admirer client, was eventually recognized as one of the artist’s great masterpieces. Monet spearheaded a public campaign to raise money for the French government to purchase the painting from Manet’s widow. Monet’s letters on this subject are highly sought after by collectors.
By February 1890, Monet had raised about 20,000 francs for the purchase and further it’s donation to the French nation. ‘Olympia’ was first shown at the Musée du Luxembourg, then at the Musée de l’Art Contemporary of Paris. By order of the French Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau, a close and intimate friend of Monet, Olympia finally took its place in the Louvre in 1907, and now resides within the Musee D’orsey along the banks of the Seine in Paris.
This is just a fabulous letter, encompassing all the content, and association of these two monumental Impressionist artists, in dealing with preserving one of the world’s great paintings. What more could one wish for? Make it yours.
Giverny par Vernon Eure — 26 Mar ’89 Cher Monsieur [Bazin?] — Je vous demande pardon de ne pas vous avoir repondu plus tôt pour vous remercier de prendre part à notre œuvre pour Manet. Je vous ai inscrit pour 25 F [?] à près de 19.000 F , mais je crois qu’il va y avoir bien des difficultés pour faire accepter notre don. D’autres travaillent feroce pour faire avorter notre entreprise. Il faudra [?] y arriver. Aussi je compte vous voir à mon prochain voyage à Paris, puisque vous m’offrez votre [?]. Mais surtout n’ecrivez rien de ce sujet. Il faut être prudent. Bien cordialement à vous. Claude Monet