Edouard Manet was a French painter (1832-1883) who came from an affluent family. He focused more on his painting career than working to earn a living. Manet came up with many paintings among them that of a young woman in a round hat. He worked on this painting between 1877 and 1879 a period during which he was trying out the bold colours and soft brushstrokes. Edouard used oil on canvas as a medium of presenting the young woman in a round hat painting. Manet's young woman in a round hat painting is currently displayed at Princeton University Art Museum.
Edouard's connection with the painting
The Young woman in a round hat painting has a connection with his wealthy background and is seen to portray the ways of women who belonged to his social class. She is still anonymous: she could be a model, his acquaintance or an affluent woman who occasionally attended the social circles of the rich and got to know Manet.
Edouard was fond of using black in all its different consistency, lustre and shade and this painting brings that out. In this painting, his prowess of the use of black colour is brought out by the young woman's highly lustreless hat to the bright satin of her left glove. There is a distinction between the uneven, dull material of her umbrella, the violet shade below her chin and unclear strokes that sketch out her veil. Edouard drew the young lady's figure with a bright blackish-blue border that brings out her shape exceptionally against the pale back ground.
About the painting
He decided to paint this young woman in side view and to cover her eyes at the back of a blurry veil, and this makes it almost impossible to tell her appearance and expression. An observer can see her left eye staring indirectly, and her lips tightly closed an appearance that could give a clue about her character though not sufficient evidence to trace her resemblance. The young lady is dressed in a walking costume and in her hand she carries an item recognised as either an umbrella.
She is without doubt fully clad as a wealthy woman in a stylish blue dress with a black sun hat and gloves mostly intended for strolling around or taking a walk in the park. The blue colour that is painted on her body and sleeve are a major highlight of her strong personality. Edouard Manet's painting of a young woman in a round hat is a symbolism of the changing fashions of women dresses in the current life.