Cherry Boy

ÉDOUARD MANET (1832 - 1883)
Boy with Cherries, 1858

Only very few painters had the idea to portray the child in his very own realm of fantasy - during playing and games. Occasionally, you see girls with their dolls but they just hold them carelessly and do not pay much attention to the beloved doll. Furthermore, most painters of the last five centuries insisted on including flowers and fruit in their portrait of the boy. Cherries are their favourite fruit, as it seems.

Manets boy at the balustrade is also a cherry boy. Although his face is not a particularly beautiful one, this nature boy comes across as quite charming which could be the result of the extravagant cap he wears. The bright aspects of this painting (the face, the cap, the hand, the shirt) appear without transition from the background and the other clothes - as Manet abruptly changes from light to dark, thus bringing a daring esprit to this portrait.