The Railway

The Railway
Artist Édouard Manet
Year 1873
Medium Oil on canvas
Location National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dimensions 36 3⁄4 in × 45 1⁄8 in
111.5 cm × 93.3 cm
Famous Paintings by Manet
Le déjeuner sur l’herbe
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
The Balcony
The Fifer
The Railway
The Spanish Singer
The Old Musician
Complete Works

The Railway, by Edouard Manet, is an 1873 painting which is popularly known as the Gare Saint-Lazare. The painting is dominated by 2 figures: a middle-aged woman and a little girl. It is one of Manet’s imperative paintings.

The woman posing in the painting is Victorine Meurent, who also posed for Manet’s most astounding pictures: Luncheon on the Grass and the Olympia. In this painting, she sits behind a tall iron fence holding an open book and a sleeping puppy. To her left, a little girl watches a train passing beneath them.

Artistic Techniques

It is most likely that Manet made the drawings of the location outdoors, and later carried out his painting in a studio. He laid lights and darks beside each other, creating bold contrasts that challenged conventions of shade and subtleness. The contrasts are found throughout the painting, neutralizing and flattening the composition.

Manet sustained the idea of 3 dimensionality on a flat surface while banishing modeling. The technique defied the customary way of understanding a picture where deep space is ignored. It also compresses the foreground into a narrow focus.

One response to “The Railway”

  1. alistair says:

    The girl kneels like the maid in titians venus d urbano.
    She is looking for something as the maid looks for clothes in titians painting.The girl points at the womans hat which has a red flower symbol of love.The girl is telling us the woman seeks love.
    Venus was born from white water Steam is white water and the trains steam symbolises venus.

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