The Balcony by Manet was Painted between 1868 and 1869, it is based on a work by Goya, The Majas on the Balcony, from around 1808-12 (now in a private collection). Manet measured himself against the painting of the great Spanish artist several times, reworking some of his celebrated compositions, as in the case of the Olympia, which recalls the Maja desnuda, or the Execution of the Emperor Maximilian (The Execution of the Emperor Maximillian 1)(The Execution of the Emperor Maximillian 2), derived from May 3, 1808. The comparison with the art of Goya was not limited to an updating of the subjects, although this must have been one of the aspects that most struck the public of the time, but was in the first place an investigation of his style and his conception of painting. At first sight the composition is more rigid, less flowing than the Spanish model. But Manet is aiming at a more rigorous balance of color and form, to which the apparently frozen gestures of the figures, which hostile critics often accused of looking like manikins, also contribute: here the pattern formed by the hands leads the observer's gaze from the man in the background to the young woman putting on her gloves and then to the woman leaning on the railing, in a movement underscored by the converging lines of the fan and parasol. And then, as always, the paint itself lies at the center of the artist's interest, with the large expanses of color, in line with a tendency to simply the image. This is combined, however, with a great chromatic sensitivity, revealed here, as in the Olympia, in the tonal variations of white.
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