Victorine Meurent was a French painter and a famous model for painters. She is best known as the go to model of Edouard Manet, she was also her own an artist in her own right. Meurent was born in Paris and at the age of 16 she started modeling in the studio of Thomas Couture. She first model for Manet in 1862 after he spotted her walking the street carrying her guitar.
Meurent was noted to be the “game changer” in terms how artist at the time were portraying female models. At the time women were depicted in art as more passive in their facial expressions. Meurent went opposite of the in her modeling exhibiting more of a direct gaze making this a trend among the time period. Part of the reason is she was noticeable for her petite stature and her red hair which earned her the nickname La Crevette which means “The Shrimp.”
Meurents name is forever associated with Manets pieces of 1863, The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia which included portrayals of her nude. She was also significant because she began studying art on her own and eventually submitted work of her own at the Salon and was accepted however Manets own submissions were rejected that same year because he wasn’t drawn to the academic style of painting which Meurent was.
After examining Meurents modeling and her own work I definite relate to her distinctiveness at that time. Seems like the was the model that didn’t fit in during that time period. But she managed to make that distinctiveness into something truly timeless and beautiful.