Portrait of George Moore, 1879

Portrait of George Moore is one of his rare life-size heads. Moore, or VAnglais de Montmartre as they called him, was a refined dilettante: a painter, poet, dramatist, and art critic who rose at last to prominence among the English writers of his day. He appealed to Manet, according to Moreau-Nelaton, "on account of his exotic and bohemian way of life, his pale, languid face, and his red hair." Manet has given him the reddish hair that betrays his Irish birth. George Moore was a poet of great subtlety, with a delicate humor that did not kill his sensitive charm. He originally came to Paris to paint and was friendly with Villiers de l'lsle Adam, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Duranty, Zola, and Mallarme. His first writings ("On Manet," Confessions of a Young Man, Modern Painting) appeared in La Revue Independante. This periodical had been founded by Edouard Dujardin, the originator of the monologue interieur. However, after the study by Margaretta Salinger, there is no need for me to dwell on Manet's friendship with Moore.

Manet did several portraits of Moore: one, full-length, in oils, was never completed; another is simply a sketch. This one is done with big strokes of pastel that repeat the bold and brilliant manner of his brushwork. So lifelike are the pose, the coloring, and the expression in the eyes that one feels one can almost hear the English voice of this man, who was so much in sympathy with Parisian life and art.