December 16, 2013 — Maureen Gibbon
Manet’s Black Chokers
Today I’m thinking of the black necklaces Manet often painted women wearing.
Maybe many women did wear chokers. But I think Manet painted black ribbon necklaces in so many of his portraits because the strip of black against skin added something essential to his compositions—and just because he liked the way it looked. He made black chokers or necklaces look beautiful on everyone, from Victorine Meurent and Berthe Morisot, to Suzanne Leenhoff, who became his wife in 1863.
It’s hard to argue with the look. Here’s Brigitte Bardot in a black choker:
But I like the look here, too:
Indeed fascinating detail! It is so fascinating just because it is so simple, and a discreet black line caressing a woman’s neck might have a deeply alluring connotation.
Yes, it is so simple — and yet powerful. It seems to really signal something about a woman.