manet and the execution of maximilian
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Manet worked from live models for his Execution of Maximilian series, sending for an infantry platoon to pose as the firing squad and asking two friends to stand in for Mejía and Miramón. The model for the figure of Miramón was a violinist named Damourette. Manet was clearly acquainted with at least one photograph of Miramón by the time he began his second painting, as he altered Damourette's head so that it resembles the photograph shown here. This image of Miramón formed the basis of his portrait as it appears in Manet's last three compositions.

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manet and the execution of maximilian
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Left:
Charles Reutlinger. Miguel Miramón. Albumen silver print, image: 3 1/2 x 2 1/16" (8.9 x 5.3 cm). Austrian National Library, Vienna, Picture Archive, PF 3.644:B(2)

Right:
François Aubert. General Tomás Mejía. c. 1864. Albumen silver print, 6 13/16 x 5 1/8"
(17.3 x 13 cm). Collection of the Royal Army Museum, Brussels

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manet and the execution of maximilian
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Copyright 2006 by the Museum of Modern Art