The Lady with Fans Edouard Manet Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

The painting, The Lady With Fans, is a prominent piece of impressionist artist Edouard Manet, illustrating the society of the 19th century. Manet drew a series of painting with the common theme of women displayed upon sofas, showcasing the beautiful femininity each one holds.

The model within the painting, The Lady With Fans, is model Nina De Callias. The model had a history of alcoholism, depression and neurotic trauma, bringing her journey to insanity and a premature death at the age of thirty-nine. At the time of the portrait, the model was a prominent figure in Paris, holding an artistic salon. Nina appears in Manet’s other pieces Mallarmé and Nana, showcasing a sophisticated approach. The painting epitomises a woman posing on white chaise covered in fans. The model is clothed in a black chiffon ruffled dress, showcasing her feet covered in flat gold and black shoes. The woman’s top remains a classic white coloured, paired with a black and gold vest, illuminating the classic style of the luxurious Chinese culture at the time. The muse is covered in 4 gold played bracelets, matching the embroilment of the woman’s vest.

The classic black and gold pattern throughout the painting continues to the woman’s hat as it showcases a gold feature on a black base. The chaise the woman lays on is a white-coloured pieces, paired with teal and grey pillows holding her position up. The texture through the brush strokes illuminates the material of the chaise, covered in a silky texture. Near the feet of the woman, lays a white fluffy dog sleeping against her legs. The woman’s face shows a glimpse of a mature aged woman, holding the emotion of happiness. The woman witnesses the viewer and poses for them through a positive expression. The woman’s bright red lips are arched to form a smile, while her glare meets the viewer directly. Upon the gold wall on top of the women, it is covered in an array of fans.

The fans are beautifully designed, illustrating different patterns and colour scheme. Whereas the fans do not symbolize anything specifically other than wealth, as Nina pins them against the walls, she showcases her creativity by attempting to decorate the space in a new light. The painting carries the similar allure to Manet’s most popular piece, Olympia painted ten years prior. Within the decade, Manet’s style has transformed entering a more impressionist approach, however cultivates a similar style in the art of the body.