The Horsewoman Edouard Manet Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Horsewoman showcases the artist's Edouard Manet's detailed technique in the field of impressionism, illustrating the piece of a woman on a horse.

The piece was painted in 1875 and has been widely interpreted through an array of art critics and creative artists throughout its time. There are two main ways that the work has been interpreted throughout the years. Firstly, it could be viewer literary based on the image itself; since the background of the painting seems a tad unfinished, critics like to view the piece as it carries the message of the work being not completed. The trees in the background are light brushed with paint, blended greatly in together, showcasing a lack of his classic impressionist style, suggesting perhaps the piece was not finished, or that Manet released the painting his the message behind it.

Since the woman and the horse are so finely painted, however the calm background may have been painted simply to not take away from the prominent focal point. The second way artists have viewed the painting is through an imaginative technique, showcasing that the woman painted on the horse, compared to the background illustrate two different realities with two different messages. With the classic over the shoulder look the woman illustrates, it is suggested that the piece manifests a model placed on a horse, while Manet paints.

As the viewer is aware therefore that the woman is real and not based on Manet’s imagination, it showcases that the woman illustrates a glimpse into reality, and the background is just extra texture to add to the painting. The background was most likely finished last, if not even in Manet's studio, illustrating the imaginative component of the piece, as Manet favoured the focal point much instead. The painting, The Horsewoman, epitomizes exactly the title, of a woman seated directly on a horse while she looks over her shoulder at the viewer. The woman wears a thick black dress and cloak, with a limit to detail not illustrating to the viewer the exact components of her outfit.

She pairs her look with a black structured top hat, and a small blue collar. The woman sits directly on a dark brown horse who tilts his body away from the viewer, showcasing the back of his head. The dark attire located on the woman, nicely blends with the dark brown fur of the horse, like two components meant for each other. The background of the piece remains in a impressionism style, illustrating two men on their horses in the right background. The colour scheme continues in brown and dark green shades, incredibly blended again seeming that the work in fact is not competed.