The central figure is Leon Koëlla Leenhoff, the 16 year-old illegitimate son of Dutch pianist Suzanne Leenhoff, and Manet’s step-son. The artist and Suzanne had married 5 year prior to the painting of this lunch scene. The use of color and detail pushed Leon to the forefront of the composition; he is clearly the “main character,” the focal point of the entire scene, despite the other figures around him. The well-laid table could be a reference to the tradition of Dutch still life paintings that took place centuries prior and would have been part of Leenhoff’s artistic heritage.
Creator: Edouard Manet
Location: Neue Pinakothek, Munich
16x20 Archival Print