Gonzalès, Eva (1849–1883)

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Gonzalès, Eva (1849–1883)

French painter who was an early Impressionist . Name variations: Gonzales. Born in Paris, France, in 1849; died in Paris in 1883; daughter of Emmanuel (a novelist) Gonzalès; studied with Charles Chaplin and Edouard Manet; married Henri Guérard (an engraver), in 1879; children: one son, Jean Raimond.

Eva Gonzalès was born into an artistic family in Paris in 1849; her father was a noted novelist and, from 1870, a delegate and honorary president of the Comité de la Société Gens de lettre, and her mother was an accomplished musician. At age 16, Eva began art studies with the fashionable academic painter Charles Chaplin, although her strongest influence was Edouard Manet, whom she met in 1869. She became Manet's model and student, and their friendship would last throughout both of their lives.

In the salon of 1870, Gonzalès exhibited three works, The Little Soldier (Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Musée des Beaux-Arts), The Passer-by, and a pastel of her sister Jeanne Gonzalès . Also exhibited that year was Manet's life-size, fulllength portrait of the young Gonzalès at work (Portrait of Eva Gonzalès), which invited comparisons among those who criticized Gonzalès for following the principles of Manet more than those of her official teacher, Chaplin. Gonzalès' early efforts reflect the somber palette, the strong contrasts between light and dark, and the disciplined forms that came to dominate her work, and are closely allied to Manet's Spanish period. However, when Manet moved on to the brighter colors and active surfaces of the Impressionists, she retained her neutral color schemes and precise contours. Although generally classified in the premier group of Impressionists, Gonzalès seems aligned with the group mostly in her subject matter.

Eva Gonzalès was treated well by the critics and had a small but loyal following in England and Belgium, as well as France. Many of her paintings are now held by the French government as well as private collectors, although the best of her work is in the collection of her son and his heirs. Manet's portrait of the artist is in London's National Gallery.

In 1879, Gonzalès married engraver Henri Guérard, and in 1883, shortly after Manet's death, gave birth to a son. She died just five days later, at the age of 34. Her sister Jeanne became Guérard's second wife.


Harris, Ann Sutherland, and Linda Nochlin. Women Artists, 1550–1950. LA County Museum of Art: Knopf, 1976.

Heller, Nancy G. Women Artists. NY: Abbeville Press, 1987.

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts

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Gonzalès, Eva (1849–1883)

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Gonzalès, Eva (1849–1883)