An unpublished letter by the painter Edouard Manet has just been sold at auction for the astronomical sum of 201,600 Euros.

Edouard Manet
Edouard Manet ‘s letter opyright Sotheby’s

A letter wrote with a brush

€201,600. This is the tidy sum for which this unpublished letter by Edouard Manet was sold on June 22 at Sotheby’s. What is special about this letter ? Manet wrote it not with a pen, but with a brush! Another rare fact, this three-page letter, addressed to the artist’s favorite model, Madame Jules Guillemet, is illustrated in watercolor. It was therefore a particularly exceptional sale that closed this Wednesday, June 22 at Sotheby’s Paris. Accumulating a total of 2.6 million euros, more than 250 objects found buyers, from drawings by Victor Hugo to engravings by Albrecht Dürer. But it is the illustrated letter of the impressionist painter Edouard Manet addressed to his favorite model, Mrs. Jules Guillemet, which has sparked the most beautiful bidding battle.

Edouard Manet

Graphic and elegant

The unpublished correspondence was therefore sold for €201,600, becoming the flagship lot of the sale. In 1880, Edouard Manet wrote this letter to his favorite model, Mme Jules Guillemet, who can be seen in many of the artist’s portraits or group paintings. Far from making it a simple missive, Edouard Manet, the good painter that he is, adorns his correspondence with watercolor sketches, no doubt wanting to illustrate his point. In the middle of the traditional calligraphy of the 19th century, which makes it difficult today to read the words of the artist, we recognize however colorful buns, butterflies, wasps or even greedy frogs. Rarely, this letter is one of the few known by the auction house to have been written with a brush, an exceptional touch that makes it even more graphic and elegant.

Sotheby’s Paris

76 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris

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