What I think is most striking about this painting is the contrast between the sitting, dark-haired girl (Berthe Morisot, I think), and her standing companions. She is obviously in the grip of some very strong emotion, hard to discern exactly what, and her face has been depicted with great precision. The other two look pasty, bland, and unfinished—their faces one notices are very rough, the man fades into the dark background—they hardly look like they were painted by the same person. Perhaps the point is that they're bland, nothing to the pretty, disturbed-looking girl on the balcony with them. Manet once said he painted what he saw, not what others wished to see . . .
The balcony Posted by Elizabeth Hyde on 9.March 2010, 00:04