The Loving Husband
Although Manet, the flaneur, the dandy, was known as a 'ladies' man', it is likely that he remained faithful to his wife.
Manet married Suzanne Leenhoff in Holand in October 1863. Manet's wife was Dutch, two years older than him, and an excellent pianist. She had been employed by August Manet to give Edouard and his brother Eugene piano lessons. After a relationship lasting more than ten years, Manet finally married Suzanne after his father's death. Suzanne's son, Leon Koella, who posed for 'Dejeuner sur l'herbe' was, born in 1852.
"Faithful he certainly was, in spite of appearances. One day when he was following a pretty young girl, slim and coquettish, he was unexpectedly accosted by his wife, who said with a laugh, 'I've caught you this time!'
'Well, well,' he replied, 'that's funny. I thought she was you!' "
Joseph de Nittis, cited by Courthion and Cailler, Portrait of Manet by Himself and his Contemporaries, Cassell, 1960
Prostitutes of the Folies Bergère