"Drawing was the foundation of artistic training from the Renaissance forward, and retained this fundamental role through the 1800s. The drawings in this exhibition exemplify the 19th-century negotiation between tradition and innovation, revealing how the practice of drawing benefited from and advanced the developments of artistic modernity."
"The Folies-Bergère was one of the most elaborate variety-show venues in Paris, showcasing entertainment ranging from ballets to circus acts. Another attraction was the barmaids, who were assumed by many contemporary observers to be available as clandestine prostitutes. By depicting one of these women and her male customer on an imposing scale, Manet brazenly introduced a morally suspect, contemporary subject into the realm of high art. By treating the topic with deadpan seriousness and painterly brilliance, Manet staked his claim to be remembered as the heroic "painter of modern life" envisaged by critics like Charles Baudelaire."