Manet and His Circle: Paintings from the Louvre
Tate Britain: Exhibition
24 April 19547 June 1954

We suggested an exhibition centred on Manet, partly because this great artist is so richly represented in the Jeu de Paume, and partly because figure subjects of this kind have been less commonly seen in this country than impressionist landscapes. The theme had the added advantage of showing a cross-section of life at a great period in the history of French culture.

Unfortunately some of the most famous of Manet’s pictures (Olympia, le Balcon, le Fifre) were in a delicate condition, and could not properly be asked to cross the Channel, but with the pictures from the National Gallery, Manet’s work is represented in almost all its phases.

The French authorities sent us, with outstanding generosity, some major works by Manet’s contemporaries painted more or less under the same impulses: Bazille’s Atelier contains the figure of Manet, Monet’s wonderful Femmes au jardin represents the ladies of Bazille’s family and Bazille himself is painted by Renoir.

Kenneth Clark