The Balcony, after Edouard Manet

Neil Folberg
Aug 28, 2014 9:32PM

This large-format painting by Manet features his first treatment of a woman with whom he became quite obsessed. She is seated at left, dark and mysterious with a distinctly Spanish style to her, a small lap dog at her feet. What he soon came to realize was that Berthe Morisot was herself a formidable painter who became the only woman in the group of French Impressionists, participating in nearly all of the controversial Impressionist exhibitions in her lifetime.

I have recreated this scene from inside the room, some 140 years later, where  the silver tray has already been set and the characters depicted are seen from a different and more intimate perspective. What are they all looking at? Perhaps a parade, but perhaps the seated woman was hoping to see someone else: her gaze is directed elsewhere. I took this mystery and used it to create a contemporary photograph in Manet's 19th century manner. Have a look also at the sequel to this image, "Don't leave" where the story - now my story - continues.

Neil Folberg