The Railway

The Railway by Edouard Manet

The Railway by Edouard Manet was produced in 1873 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of Impressionism movement. The work can be viewed now at National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., United States.


Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): children, railway, woman


The Railway is an oil painting produced in 1873 by French painter Edouard Manet.

The Railway was the last painting featuring Victorine Meurent, who was a favorite model of Edouard Manet. You will see Victorine in the previous works of Edouard Manet – Olympia and The Luncheon on the Grass. Gare Saint-Lazare, one of the busiest train stations in Paris, is the location where Manet’s two models are present.

Meurent is sitting in the front of an iron fence, looking towards the audience. She is wearing a blue dress and a dark hat, keeping a book and a puppy on her lap. Next to Meurent, you can see a little girl, who is the daughter of Alphonse Hirsch, a neighbor of Manet. The little girl is watching the train passing by and having subtle interaction with Meurent The iron gratings were stretched across the canvas by Manet and the presence of the train was covered by white clouds of steam.

In the background, Modern apartment buildings were painted including the house on the Rue de Saint Petersbourg where Manet had rented a studio. The place was near the Place de l’Europe and Manet owned the studio since 1872 including a signal box and the Pont de l’Europe.

The dimensions of the painting The Railway are 93.3 cm × 111.5 cm or 36.9 in × 45.12 in.

The Railway painting indicates that it was made in the autumn season. On the right side of the painting, bunch of grapes are resting on a parapet which indicate this information. Manet in his earlier painting (Olympia) had used compositions of Titian’s earlier work, for instance, the dog seen in this painting is regarded as a reference to Titian’s Venus of Urbino

The work can be viewed at National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.  


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