This is the only surviving personal notebook of the French artist Édouard Manet (1832-1883). He used it in the early 1860s, when he was between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty, documenting aspects of his everyday life and work in the two years leading up to his most significant contributions to modern painting, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe and Olympia. He likely carried the notebook in his pocket and extracted it to record the names and addresses of models, publishers, framers, and collectors, jotting down accounts and sums owed to him, and making pencil sketches for works in progress, including Children in the Tuileries Gardens.
The notebook includes the names, and occasionally the addresses, of several women who modeled for Manet during these years. Notably, it includes the earliest known reference to the white woman who posed as the courtesan in his celebrated work Olympia (1863)--Victorine Louise Meurant (called “Louise Meuran” in the notebook)--and the only known reference to Laure (her last name unknown), the Black model Manet depicted as a maid bearing a bouquet of flowers in the same painting.
The volume once belonged to the author and critic Adolphe Tabarant (1863-1950), who made his own notes on some of the pages and inserted two sheets identifying Manet's illustrations, in some instances incorrectly. The notebook is small (10.9x14.1 cm), bound with a leather spine and embossed paper-covered boards, and heavily worn from frequent use. Manet filled about 38 of the notebook's 102 pages, leaving many blank.
A loose sheet of notes is laid in at the end of the notebook.
With a paper label on the front cover in an unknown contemporary hand: "Manet / Carnet de notes / (1860-1862) / Nombreuses adresses, notamment / de modèles. / Et quelques croquis."
With a sticker on the front pastedown for "Papeterie / J. Meche / 189 rue St. Honoré / en face l'église St. Roch."
A combination of autograph notes and sketches. The notebook includes many blank pages.