L’Enfant à l’épée (1861)

Manet, Édouard (1832-1883)

L’Enfant à l’épée (Boy with a Sword)
Oil on canvas, 131.1 x 93.4 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Manet’s stepson, Léon Koëlla-Leenhoff, recalled that he had posed for this picture in 1861, when he was about ten years old. Manet dressed him in a seventeenth-century costume, adding a period sword as a prop—a tribute to the great Spanish painters he admired, notably Velázquez. Critics reviewed the work favorably on the five occasions that Manet exhibited it between 1862 and 1872.
In 1889, the New York collector Erwin Davis donated Boy with a Sword and Young Lady in 1866 (89.21.3) to the Metropolitan; they were the first works by Manet to enter a museum collection. (MET)

See also:

• Koelin-Leenhoff, Léon (1852-1927)