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October 30, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

ALIAS OLYMPIA: A Woman's Search for Manet's Notorious Model and Her Own Desire by Eunice Lipton (Meridian: $9.95; 181 pp.) . Art historian Eunice Lipton recounts her fascination with the elusive Victorine Meurent, the model who posed for "Olympia," "Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe" and other celebrated paintings by Manet. In an intriguing example of historical detective work, Lipton reconstructs Meurent's life from a scant array of documents and references. But the author seems to identify a little too strongly with her subject and builds a portrait of her as a painter without having seen a single canvas.

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