Still Life with Fish and Shrimp

Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883)
Oil on canvas 
17-5/8 x 28-3/4 in. (44.8 x 73 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

As the critic Émile Zola explained in 1866, “Even the most determined enemies of Édouard Manet’s talent admit that he paints inanimate objects well.” Unlike the ambitious figure paintings he sent to the Salon year after year, Manet’s modest still lifes were universally admired in his own time. Stripping the genre of its allegorical associations—fasts and feasts, time, the seasons, the senses—compositions like this one excused early viewers from the need to decipher a story or conventional meaning, freeing them instead to admire Manet’s deft, succinct application of paint, evident in the salmon’s glittering, impasted scales, the long, elegant strokes of the needlefish’s head, and the dainty, filigreed shrimp.


Jean Dollfus, by 1884.
Madame Besnard, Paris.
Marquis de Biron, Paris, by 1902 until at least 1926.
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris];
[Durand-Ruel, Paris];
Edith Dunn (Mrs. Alfred Chester) Beatty, London, by 1932, by inheritance to;
Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968), London and Dublin, sold 16 March 1955 to;
[Paul Rosenberg, New York; stock no. 5611, offered 12 March 1959 and subsequently sold 8 February 1960 to];
Donald Ellis Simon, Los Angeles and Paris, bequest to;
The Norton Simon Foundation, Los Angeles (sale, New York, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 3 May 1973, lot 28, ill., as Nature morte aux poissons, bought-in);
[Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, sold 1978 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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