Arts Everyday Living: Celebrating Women’s History-Impressionist Eva Gonzales, At the Hat Shop



March is Women’s History Month and we will be featuring women artists through the centuries. A number of them are “famous,” but others have been overlooked and still being discovered. So enjoy our special online exhibition with fast facts highlights accompanying each image. Generally, the works of art will be presented chronologically.


Eva Gonzales, The Milliner, c. 1877, pastel on canvas, Olivia Shaler Swan Memorial Collection, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois


Title: The Milliner, c. 1877

Artist: Eva Gonzales (1849-1883)

FAST FACTS: A French artist born 1849 in Paris; from artistic background, father a writer, mother a musician. Studied with academic artist Charles Chaplain when only in her teens. Major breakthrough when avant-garde art pioneer Edouard Manet (1832-1883)  became her mentor and teacher, Gonzales being  his only publicly acknowledged student. Manet painted now famous portrait of her in 1869-1870.  Exhibited in the Salon.

Gonzales’s works are primarily domestic themes, her subjects are often women engaged in everyday activities, whether awakening in the morning, getting dressed, attending a performance at the theater or at work in a millinery shop (see: above). The artist’s frequent model was her sister Jeanne. Although Gonzales is often grouped with the Impressionists because of the similarity of elements of her style (vibrant color, luminous light, and innovative perspective), she never exhibited with them, instead showing her paintings at the Salon which represented the French establishment art world at the time.

Marries engraver Henri Guerard (1846-1897) who also appears in one of her paintings A Loge at the Theatre des Italians.  Dies prematurely at the age of 34, as a result of childbirth, only five days after Manet.

Sources include Britannica website and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. website.




CCO Public Domain Designation

The Art Institute of Chicago does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the Art Institute of Chicago participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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