Compare And Contrast Anna Carbentus Van Gogh And Madame Manet

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Madame Manet is one of several portraits Édouard Manet painted of his wife. Madame Manet is a 23-7/8 x 20 in. oil painting, that was created between the years 1874-1876 in Paris for George Moore; however, it can now be found in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California. Also residing at the Norton Simon is Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of the Artist’s Mother. Van Gogh painted this 16 x 12-3/4 in. image for himself while in Arles, France using oil paints as his medium. Both of these pieces depict portraits of a significant woman in each artist’s life. Suzanne Leenhoff is Édouard Manet’s wife; when this was painted they had been married for approximately twelve years. Anna Carbentus van Gogh is the mother of Vincent van Gogh, and was known …show more content…
The intent: to capture the kindness and beauty this significant woman has demonstrated throughout her life. Van Gogh created the portrait of his mother after receiving a photograph of her from his sister Wilhelmina. His reasoning to do so was expressed in a letter: “I am doing a portrait of Mother for myself. I cannot stand the colorless photograph, and I am trying to do one in a harmony of color, as I see her in my memory.” Although it is clear what van Gogh’s intent was because of his letter to Theo, Manet is less obvious. Manet painted many portraits of women, all which seem to comment more on their place in the world rather than their inner psyche. However, Manet produced several portraits of his wife that differ from his usual style, which prompts the question: Why? Despite there being several portraits, each portrait seems to vary with Madame Manet’s attitude; however, each portrait has the same underlying fondness. In this portrait, Manet manages to capture his wife’s softness through color and brushstrokes, while van Gogh achieves this through his mother’s delicate smile. Although the two share the same intent, it is clear that the idea is significantly lost in Portrait of the Artist’s Mother because of the ghastly green and sickly pale tone. Despite the intent being the same, it is clear who was able to accurately depict their emotions:

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