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Corner of a Café-Concert

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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In August 1874 Manet began work on a large picture of the Brasserie de Reichshoffen, where he was fascinated by the skill of the waitresses. While working on the picture, he radically altered his plans and cut it in two, completing each half separately. This snapshot view of the cafe is the right side of the larger painting. The left half shows a man and two women sitting at the other side of the table. Titled Au Café, that painting is in the Reinhart Collection, Winterthur, Switzerland.

Manet enlarged the National Gallery picture by adding an extra strip of canvas along its right side to bring the waitress into the centre of the composition. Although a painting in its own right, Corner of a Café-Concert is also a fragment. But this is appropriate for its subject, as Manet offers us just a fleeting glimpse into this world, not a panoramic view of it.

The National Gallery, London



Corner of a Café-Concert


probably 1878-80


Oil on canvas


H 97.1 x W 77.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1924

Work type



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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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