European Art
Artist: Édouard Manet, French, 1832–1883

Reclining Young Woman in Spanish Costume


Oil on canvas

unframed: 94.7 × 113.7 cm (37 5/16 × 44 3/4 in.)
Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903
Manet was a dedicated student of earlier European painting and, most especially, an admirer of Spanish art and culture. The languorous pose and costume of the female model in this work are based on a famous painting by Francisco de Goya, Clothed Maja (ca. 1803, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid). The playful cat and the tuffeted daybed, however, firmly place the painting (and viewer) back in Manet’s studio. An inscription in the lower right dedicates the painting “To my friend Nadar.” This refers to the photographer, caricaturist, and novelist Félix Nadar, whose studio housed the first exhibition of the “Impressionists” in 1874. Manet never exhibited with the group but was an important influence on their art.
On view
19th century

The artist; given to Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1820–1910), called “Nadar,” Paris; sale, Nadar, Paris, November 11-12, 1895, no. 60; Auguste Pellerin (1853–1959), Paris; Eduard Arnhold (1849–1925), Berlin by 1902. Fine Art Associates, New York, by 1951; sold to Knoedler and Company, New York, January 9, 1951; sold to Stephen Carlton Clark, New York, February 2, 1951; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1963


Michael Conforti et al., The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, exh. cat. (Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2006), 188, 190–91, 316, 336, fig. 152–53.

Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 156, 158, fig. 151.

Pamela Franks, Jessica Sack, and John Walsh, “Looking to Learn, Learning to Teach,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2013): 42–43, fig. 4.

Alan Shestack, ed., Yale University Art Gallery Selections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983).

Susan D. Greenberg, A Selection of French Impressionist Paintings from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001), 28, 29, no. 8, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.