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Knife Grinder, Rue Mosnier

Édouard Manet, French, 1832 - 1883

Made in France, Europe


Oil on canvas

16 x 12 7/8 inches (40.6 x 32.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Bequest of Charlotte Dorrance Wright, 1978

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Manet painted this quickly brushed picture of a French knife grinder while in his studio overlooking the Rue Mosnier, now the Rue de Berne, in Paris. The artist frequently depicted the myriad passersby he could see on the street below. The composition of this work is notable: there are vivid horizontals on the street and sidewalk, diagonals that frame the sidewalk and fade to a vanishing point, and a balancing vertical in the street lamp.


Sale, Manet, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 4-5, 1884, no. 57 (replaced at the last minute) [1]. Nicholas Makeev, by April 1944 [2]. With Sam Salz, New York; his sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, March 31, 1949, no. 147; purchased by Larry Aldrich (1906-2001), New York; his sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, October 30, 1963, no. 20; purchased by E. J. Rousuck (dealer) [3]; Charlotte Dorrance Wright (1911-1977) and William Coxe Wright (d. 1970), St. Davids, PA, by 1965, until his d. 1970 [4]; Charlotte Dorrance Wright; bequest to PMA, 1978. 1. M. Bodelsen, "Early Impressionist Sales, 1874-1894," Burlington Magazine, June 1968, pp. 341-42, no. 57. 2. According to A. Tabarant, Manet et ses oeuvres, Paris, 1947, p. 324. Possibly the same Nicholas Makeev who authored a history of the Soviet Union entitled Russia (New York, 1925). 3. E. J. (Emanuel Jay) Rousuck (also spelled "Roussuck") of Wildenstein & Co., New York, advised the Wrights on their collection and may have purchased the painting on their behalf; see PMA, The Charlotte Dorrance Wright Collection, 1978, p. 7. 4. Included in the exhibition at the California Palace Legion of Honor, San Francisco, "The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. William Coxe Wright," August 28-September 26, 1965, no. 16.