Artist: Edouard Manet
Nana is a 1877 painting by Édouard Manet. The painting shows a young and beautiful woman who stands before a mirror with two extinguished candles, her face turned to the spectator. Her dress is incomplete; she wears a short sleeveless bodice, silk stockings and high heeled shoes. The interior suggests that it is a boudoir. Behind the woman is a sofa with two pillows. An elegantly dressed man, sitting on the sofa, can be partly seen on the right of the painting. On the left side, there is a chair, a table and a flowerpot. Both the title and the numerous details suggest that the picture represents a high class prostitute and her client. Nana was a popular name in the second half of the 19th century for a woman who was a harlot. The symbolism used by the painter is ambiguous. The phallic shape of the stick in the man's hands and the presentation of an ibis on the tapestry, considered as an unclean bird in the Bible, are controversial elements. Extinguished candles may suggest a lack of affection and love. The painting was rejected by the Salon of Paris because it was deemed to be contemptuous of the morality of the time. The work is now at the Kunsthalle Hamburg art museum, in Germany.