Have you heard of Eva Gonzales (1849-1883)? She and her contemporary French Impressionist Berthe Morisot had the same teacher, Edouard Manet whose mentoring helped both of them establish professional careers. Were they also rivals for Manet’s affections?
Gonzales and Morisot shared similar artistic themes, reflecting the bourgeois lifestyle of Paris in the 1870s and 1880s. Where attending the theater was a major event for the fashionable young lady Gonzales portrays in The Box at the Italian Theater. A figure who engages us directly with her subtle smile, appearing unaware of her admiring escort. Or is she?
Gonzales died at the age of 34, passing away soon after the birth of her son by Henri Guerard, an engraver whom she had married four years before. We can only guess at her impact on the world of art if she had lived longer.
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