Getty Buys a Manet Letter

Édouard Manet, Letter Decorated With a Snail on a Leaf (1880). J. Paul Getty Museum
In summer 1880 Édouard Manet, stricken with syphilis, went to the suburban spa of Bellevue for rest and hydrotherapy. Bored and lonely, he dashed off letters to Parisian friends, cadging visits and favors, and decorating his words with quick, virtuosic watercolors. The Getty's Iris blog reports that the Museum will bring together 15 Bellevue letters in an upcoming show of late Manet, and it has bought one for its permanent collection. Addressed to an unidentified Madame, the letter has a watercolor of a yellow snail on a leaf. Formerly offered by Stephen Ogpin, the drawing is to appear in "Manet and Modern Beauty," Oct. 8, 2019–Jan. 12, 2020.

In another of the Bellevue letters Manet sounds like Oscar Wilde at summer camp: "I am living like a shellfish in the sun, when there is any, and as much as possible in the open air, but when all’s said and done the countryside only has charms for those who are not obliged to stay there."
Other Bellevue letters by Manet