Laure (art model)

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La Négresse (1862-63) by Edouard Manet
OccupationArt model
Years active1859–67 (art model)
Known forOlympia by Edouard Manet

Laure was an art model in France known for her work with artist Édouard Manet. She is best known for posing as the black maid offering the white nude figure a bouquet of flowers in Manet's 1863 painting Olympia.

Art modeling[edit]

Laure has been described as African or Caribbean, her last name is unknown. Art historian Griselda Pollock suggested that she met Manet while working as a nursemaid in the Tuileries Garden in Paris. Laure also appeared in Manet's painting Children in the Tuileries Garden (1861-62).[1] In both Olympia and Children in the Tuileries Garden paintings she is wearing the same outfit of a pink dress with a high white collar and a madras headtie.[2] It is not known whether she was ever painted by other artists during that period.

Contemporary depictions[edit]

Elizabeth Colomba's 2018 painting Laure (Portrait of a Negresse) depicts Laure on her way to Manet's studio. Colomba's painting was included in the exhibition Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today, alongside Manet's paintings of Laure, at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University[3]



  1. ^ Jiminez, Jill Berk (2013). Dictionary of Artists' Models. Routledge. ISBN 9781135959142.
  2. ^ Yee, Jennifer (2016-01-01). The Colonial Comedy: Imperialism in the French Realist Novel. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198722632.
  3. ^ "Painter Elizabeth Colomba Is Giving Art's Hidden Figures Their Close-Up". Vogue. Retrieved 2019-02-26.