Victorine Meurent

Victorine Meurent was born in Paris in 1844. She was talented in many aspects. Besides modeling and being an artist she had a musical gift and played various instruments. She met an artist called Édouard Manet and became his artistic muse for the next ten years.


The painting, Olympia, by Édouard Manet is Victorine Meurent in the nude. She was portraying a prostitute. Unlike the common way at the time, Victorine’s face was very clear and precise. The model has a confident face in the painting which was her choice. Her decision to portray confidence is what makes people credit her as more than a model but also an artist in this painting.

After awhile, Meurent decided to do more than just modeling and became an artist herself. She appreciated a different style than Manet. A self portrait of hers got chosen for the Paris Salon’s annual show. Meurant had six pieces of art in the show all together.

Victorine was in financial trouble in 1890s. She tried selling art in the streets and tried getting money from Manet’s widow for the paintings of her he had sold. Later on things got better for her when she was admitted to the Société des Artistes Français. Only one of her works has survived as far as we know.


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