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Study for “Rendez-vous des chats.” by  ÉDOUARD MANET - Signed - from Ars Libri Ltd (SKU: B201904-1)

Study for “Rendez-vous des chats.”

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Study for “Rendez-vous des chats.”


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About This Item

Paris, 1868.. Graphite, black ink, and white gouache, on buff laid paper (watermark indistinct). 140 x 98 mm. (ca. 5 1/2 x 3 7/8 inches), slightly irregular. Signed in pencil at lower right: manet. Provenance: Sold by the artist to Alphonse Daudet; Hôtel Drouot, Sale April 1, 1942, lot 116 (sold for 4,600 francs by the expert Cailac, according to Guérin); bought by Viscount Alain de Léché; by whom sold to Gérard Cramer; Gérard Cramer, Genève, by whom sold to the father of the present owner July 6, 1951. Literature: De Leiris, Alain: The Drawings of Édouard Manet (Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1969), no. 228 ("Chats"); Rouart, Denis & Wildenstein, Daniel: Édouard Manet: Catalogue raisonné (Lausanne/Paris, 1976), Vol. II, p. 218, no. 618 (with illus.); cf. Guérin, Marcel: L'uvre gravé de Manet (Paris, 1944), no, 74 (with illus.); cf. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Édouard Manet 1832-1883. Catalogue by Anne Coffin Hanson (Philadelphia, 1966), no. 90 A preliminary design for the famous lithograph "Le rendez-vous des chats" (Guérin 74), which was to serve as a poster for the second edition of the book "Les chats" by Champfleury, published in Paris in 1870. Alain de Leiris, discussing the preparatory drawings for the lithograph in his authoritative study "The Drawings of Édouard Manet," notes that this drawing is the first study to show Manet's conception of representing cats in an outdoor setting: "In 1868, the publication of Manet's lithograph 'Le Rendez-vous des chats' was a pioneering step in launching the poster as an art form. It prefigured the accomplishments of Chéret, Lautrec, and Bonnard in the later decades of the century. Manet had illustrated the book entitled 'Les chats,' written by his friend Champfleury, with an etching, 'Le chat et les fleurs' (Guérin, no. 53)-a technically elaborate and exotic image. The lithograph 'Le Rendez-vous des chats' was planned as a poster to advertise the book. The genesis of this image is of particular interest since the final lithograph is the most stylized work of Manet. First came the direct sketches of animals in action, their characteristic poses caught in silhouetted form. Three of these drawings appear on a single sheet. Manet repeated this motif without change in a small pencil and wash drawing (illustrated in Guérin under no. 74), contrasting it on the same page with another cat differing in pose and much more stylized in form. This drawing appears to be the first stage of a composition representing cats in an outdoor setting. A large drawing presents the final synthesis. Its form is caricatural, and the pattern is dense. The two cats are now the protagonists in a ritual dance. The black cat is reminiscent of the animal in 'Olympia.' The caricatural element and picturesque subject matter (the moonlight setting and the ghostly actors: cats and chimeny pots) produce a haunting mixture of the strange and the familiar.


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Ars Libri Ltd US (US)
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Study for “Rendez-vous des chats.”
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Paris, 1868.
19th Century ; Champfleury [pseud. Jules-François-Félix Husson-Fleury]. ; Manet, Édouard, 1832-1883. ; Art, French ; Impressionism ; Impressionism, French ; Drawings ; Prints
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To order items from Ars Libri, please send an email to and list the title, price and our item number (begins with a B). If you would like to pay using AMEX, Visa or Mastercard, please send us your credit card numbers including the expiration date telephone us: 617.357.5212. All items are in good antiquarian condition, unless otherwise described. All prices are net. Massachusetts residents should add 6.25% sales tax. Reserved items will be held for two weeks pending receipt of payment or formal orders. Orders from individuals unknown to us must be accompanied by payment or by satisfactory references. All items may be returned, if returned within two weeks in the same condition as sent, and if packed, shipped and insured as received. When ordering, please cite the bibliographical i.d. number(s) indicated, or refer to the catalogue and item number(s). Overseas clients must remit in U.S. dollar funds, payable on a U.S. bank, or transfer the amount due directly to the account of Ars Libri Ltd., Cambridge Trust Company, 1336 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02238, Account No.39-665-6-01.

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Ars Libri Ltd

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This seller has earned a 4 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2005
Boston, Massachusetts
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About Ars Libri Ltd

Ars Libri maintains the largest stock in America of rare and out-of-print books on art. Founded in 1976, it has an international reputation as a source for scholars, collectors, artists, and everyone else with an interest in the visual arts. Ars Libri covers all periods and all fields of art history, from antiquity to the present, including architecture, archaeology, photography, and the decorative arts.


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