In this week’s episode of Cocktails with a Curator, Curator Aimee Ng explores the turbulent history behind Édouard Manet’s Bullfight, once part of a larger work that the artist exhibited at the Salon of 1864. The original canvas was derided and caricatured by critics, prompting Manet to cut it into pieces. The two surviving fragments were brought together for the first and only time during a 1999 exhibition at the Frick. This week’s complementary cocktail is, fittingly enough, the Toreador.
Emily A. Beeny, Associate Curator of Drawings, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Claude Monet once remarked that Manet “always wanted his painting to look as if done at the first attempt,” but the truth was more complicated. Manet went to great lengths to perfect his work and even greater lengths to conceal the effort involved. From his earliest oil paintings to his late watercolors, this lecture contrasts Manet’s cultivation of a reputation for effortlessness with the arduous reality of his practice.
David Pullins, Associate Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Research undertaken in preparation for Manet: Three Paintings from the Norton Simon Museum prompted a reevaluation of the painter’s development between 1875 and 1877, a period of intense stylistic transition in his artistic trajectory. Focusing on new discoveries made about Madame Manet and The Ragpicker, works featured in the exhibition, this lecture addresses some of the surprising directions that Manet took during this time.