Girl in a Wing Collar
In the late 1870s pastel became Manet's favourite medium. It seemed most appropriate for women's portraits. The identity of the girl in a wing collar remains unknown. No matter how summarily the dress was painted, Manet, being the man of the world, treated new trends in fashion with due attention. For him fashion was one of the leading characteristics of the time, and Manet insisted on reflecting it in painting. Apparently, the subject was not a model but one of the visitors to the studio, who commissioned the portrait. It can be supposed that the picture did not satisfy her, and Manet executed another portrait, this time in profile (1880, private collection, Paris). Most likely this pastel went to the commissioner, whereas the first later was included in the estate sale of Manet's works.