Monday, June 5, 2017
Blue Venice by Manet
James Tissot, a painter, and also a great collector, owned this painting first. Tissot and Manet travelled to Venice together in the fall of 1874, and Tissot bought Manet’s Blue Venice on March 24, 1875 for 2,500 francs. Manet badly needed the income. Tissot hung the painting in his home in St. John’s Wood, London, and did his best to interest English dealers in Manet’s work. Manet died on April 30, 1883; in 1884, while Tissot owned it, Blue Venice was included in a retrospective exhibition of Manet’s work, organized as a tribute, in Paris. By August 25, 1891, Tissot sold the picture to contemporary art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel (1831 – 1922), and in 1895, Durand-Ruel sold it as Vue de Venise (View of Venice) to Mr. and Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer, New York, for $12,000. A prominent art collector, Mrs. Havemeyer (1855 – 1929) named the painting Blue Venice. After the deaths of the Havemeyers, their youngest child, Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960), owned Blue Venice from 1929 until her death. She had founded The Shelburne Museum in Vermont in 1947, and Manet’s painting entered the collection there in 1960, where it remains today.