From The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, 1983 page 233.
139 EDOUARD MANET, French, 1832-1883
Woman with a Parrot
Oil on canvas; 727/8 x 50% in. (185.1 x 128.6 cm)
Given his inclination to allude to the works of other painters, it is probable that Manet conceived this picture in response to the controversial nude exhibited by his rival Courbet at the Salon of 1866 (no. 132). While Courbet's picture is explicitly sexual, Manet's is discreet and spare. It has been suggested that this picture is an allegory of the five senses: smell (the violets), touch and sight (the monocle), hearing (the talking bird), and taste (the orange). The model is Victorine Meurent, who also posed for Manet's celebrated Olympia and Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe (both 1863; Musee d'Orsay, Paris). Gift of Erwin Davis, 1889, 89.21.3