A red chalk sketch of a woman wrapped in a towel, sitting on a stool or otherwise undefined seat. An initial sketch of the scene can be seen in the upper left, loose and undeveloped.
Édouard Manet (1832-1883), La Toilette, 1860, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

La Toilette

Édouard Manet

Manet made this drawing in preparation for an etching. The central figure’s contours have been incised for transfer to the copper plate. The use of red chalk – unusual by the mid-nineteenth century – and the time-honoured subject of the female bather reveal Manet’s engagement with predecessors such as Rembrandt, whose works he admired. This preliminary drawing shows him experimenting with the position and pose of the figure behind the bather. Traces of his initial ideas are visible at upper left.

Watch a short film

You might also like

Virtual Tour

Enjoy a virtual stroll through each room of The Courtauld Gallery, as it was before it closed for its current major renovation....


We have partnered with national and international museums and galleries so more audiences can engage with our collection. ...

See more collection highlights

Explore The Courtauld’s remarkable collection of paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture and decorative arts.

Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)