In this unfinished portrait of 1878 or 1879, Manet depicts the Irish writer George Moore (1852–1933) at the popular Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes, a gathering place for artists and writers, where the two probably met.
the artist, Paris (until d. 1883; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 4–5, 1884, no. 58, as "Au café, ébauche," for Fr 110 to Chabrier); Alexis Emmanuel Chabrier, Paris (1884–d. 1894; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 26, 1896, no. 14, as "'Au café.' Ébauche," for Fr 750 to Chéramy); Paul A. Chéramy, Paris (1896–1908; cat., 1908, no. 249; his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, May 5–7, 1908, no. 218, as "Portrait de Moore, critique anglais," for Fr 625 to Vollard); [Ambroise Vollard, Paris, from 1908]; Albert S. Henraux, Paris (by 1929–at least 1946); [Walter Feilchenfeldt, Zurich, until 1951; sold February 1951 to Knoedler]; [Knoedler, New York, 1951–54; sold July 1954 to Hines]; Mrs. Ralph J. Hines, New York (1954–55; life interest, 1955–d. 1961)
Paris. Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées. "Salon d'automne (3e exposition)," October 18–November 25, 1905, no. 31 (as "Portrait de Moore," lent by M. Chéramy).
Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "Exposition d'œuvres de Manet au profit des 'Amis du Luxembourg'," April 14–May 4, 1928, no. 35.
Paris. Hôtel Jean Charpentier. "Cent ans de vie française," 1929, no. 676 (as "George Moore au café de la Nouvelle Athènes," lent by Albert S. Henraux).
Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "Exposition Manet, 1832–1883," June–July 1932, no. 68 (lent by Albert S. Henraux, Paris).
Paris. Bibliothèque nationale. "Cinquantenaire du symbolisme," June–July 1936, no. 674 (lent by Albert Henraux).
Belgrade. Musée du Prince Paul. "La peinture française au XIXe siècle," 1939, no. 143 (lent by A. S. Henraux, Paris).
Buenos Aires. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. "La pintura francesa de David à nuestros días," July 18–August 1939, no. 87 (lent by Albert S. Henraux, Paris).
Art Institute of Chicago. "Masterpieces of French Art Lent by the Museums and Collectors of France," April 10–May 20, 1941, no. 99a (lent by Albert S. Henraux, Paris).
Los Angeles County Museum. "The Painting of France Since the French Revolution," June–July 1941, no. 85 (lent by Albert S. Henraux, Paris).
Des Moines Art Center. "Master Painters," 1951, no. 25.
New York. Parke-Bernet. "Art Treasures Exhibition," June 16–30, 1955, no. 355 (lent by Mrs. Ralph J. Hines).
Baltimore Museum of Art. "Paintings, Drawings and Graphic Works by Manet, Degas, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt," April 18–June 3, 1962, no. 8.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Édouard Manet, 1832–1883," November 3–December 11, 1966, no. 145.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Édouard Manet, 1832–1883," January 13–February 19, 1967, no. 145.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 64.
Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 64.
Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Manet, 1832–1883," April 22–August 1, 1983, no. 175.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Manet, 1832–1883," September 10–November 27, 1983, no. 175.
New York. Wildenstein. "Paris Cafes: Their Role in the Birth of Modern Art," November 13–December 20, 1985, unnumbered cat. (ill. p. 54).
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Pleasures of Paris: Daumier to Picasso," June 5–September 1, 1991, no. 144.
New York. IBM Gallery of Science and Art. "Pleasures of Paris: Daumier to Picasso," October 15–December 28, 1991, no. 144.
London. Barbican Art Gallery. "Impressionism in Britain," January 19–May 7, 1995, no. 131.
Dublin. Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. "Impressionism in Britain," June 1–July 31, 1995, no. 131.
London. National Gallery. "Rebels and Martyrs: The Image of the Artist in the Nineteenth Century," June 28–August 28, 2006, no. 42.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible," March 18–September 4, 2016, unnumbered cat. (colorpl. 78).
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manuscrit de l'œuvre d'Édouard Manet, peinture et pastels. , unpaginated, no. 248 [Département des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris].
J. Meier-Graefe and E. Klossowski. La collection Chéramy. 1908, p. 110, no. 249, pl. 249.
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manet raconté par lui-même. Paris, 1926, vol. 2, p. 54, fig. 248, dates it about 1879; observes that Manet was dissatisfied with this sketch and left it unfinished.
Louis Gillet. Le trésor des cent ans de vie française à la Revue des deux mondes (1829–1929). Paris, 1929, notes, p. 10, pl. XL, calls it the earliest of the three portraits of Moore by Manet.
Louis Gillet. "Cent ans de vie française à la Revue des deux mondes." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 3 (1930), pp. 110–11, ill. p. 109.
A. Tabarant. Manet, histoire catalographique. Paris, 1931, pp. 338–39, no. 290, dates it 1878; provides provenance information.
Paul Jamot and Georges Wildenstein. Manet. Paris, 1932, vol. 1, p. 161, no. 337; vol. 2, fig. 103, date it about 1879, noting that it was executed at the café "Nouvelle Athènes".
Paul Valéry and Paul Jamot. Exposition Manet, 1832–1883. Exh. cat., Musée de l'Orangerie. Paris, 1932, pp. 55–56, no. 68, date it about 1878–79.
Germain Bazin. La pintura francesa de David a nuestros días. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, 1939, p. 89, no. 87, dates it about 1879.
Masterpieces of French Art. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1941, p. 31, no. 99a, dates it about 1878–79.
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. New York, 1946, p. 327, ill. p. 330, dates it about 1879.
A. Tabarant. Manet et ses œuvres. 4th ed. (1st. ed. 1942). Paris, 1947, pp. 331–332, 514, 541, no. 304, fig. 304, dates it 1878.
John Rewald. Édouard Manet: Pastels. Oxford, 1947, p. 48, ill. p. 26.
George Heard Hamilton. Manet and His Critics. New Haven, 1954, p. 227.
Pierre Courthion. Montmartre. Lausanne, 1956, ill. p. 35, dates it about 1879.
Margaretta Salinger. "Manet and George Moore." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (January 1957), pp. 117–18, ill.
Georges-Paul Collet. George Moore et la France. Geneva, 1957, p. 13.
John Richardson. Édouard Manet: Paintings and Drawings. London, 1958, p. 128, no. 60, fig. 60.
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. rev., enl. ed. New York, 1961, p. 401, ill. p. 402.
Ronald Pickvance. "A Newly Discovered Drawing by Degas of George Moore." Burlington Magazine 105 (June 1963), p. 279, agrees with the date of 1879.
John Canaday. "Manet: The Reluctant Revolutionary." Horizon 6 (Winter 1964), ill. p. 94.
Anne Coffin Hanson. Édouard Manet, 1832–1883. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1966, pp. 158–59, no. 145, fig. 145, points out the value of this painting as a document of Manet's working methods.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 50–51, ill.
Sandra Orienti inThe Complete Paintings of Manet. New York, 1967, p. 108, no. 251, ill., dates it 1878.
Daniel M. Mendelowitz. Drawing. New York, 1967, pp. 180, 406, fig. 17-7.
Merete Bodelsen. "Early Impressionist Sales 1874–94 in the Light of some Unpublished 'procès verbaux'." Burlington Magazine 110 (June 1968), p. 344, publishes the original record of Manet's posthumous sale of 1884.
Jacques Mathey. "Deux experts et un faussaire autour d'un caniche de Manet." Bulletin de la société d'études pour la connaissance d'Édouard Manet no. 2 (January 1968), p. 17, ill.
Germain Bazin. Édouard Manet. Milan, 1972, p. 59 [French ed., 1974], dates it 1878.
John Rewald. "Should Hoving Be De-accessioned?" Art in America 61 (January–February 1973), pp. 27, 29.
Carl R. Baldwin. The Impressionist Epoch. Exh. brochure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [New York], 1974, p. 27.
Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein. Édouard Manet, catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1975, vol. 1, p. 234, no. 296, ill. p. 235.
Theodore Reff. "Review of Rouart and Wildenstein 1975." Art Bulletin 58 (December 1976), p. 637, disputes Rouart and Wildenstein's identfication of this picture with a pastel of unknown size exhibited in 1880 as "Le buveur" and is puzzled by their elimination of the pastel, which was included in Jamot and Wildenstein's catalogue as no. 366 [see Ref. 1932].
[D. Sutton]. "The Vase and the Wash-Tub." Apollo 103 (March 1976), p. 167, fig. 1.
Anne Coffin Hanson. Manet and the Modern Tradition. New Haven, 1977, pp. 78, 169 n. 169, fig. 106, comments that although a portrait, Manet "treats Moore as subject for a scene from modern life".
F. S. L. Lyons. "Goodbye to Dublin." Times Literary Supplement (February 4, 1977), ill. p. 122.
Bertrand Marret inPhaidon Encyclopedia of Impressionism. Ed. Maurice Sérullaz. Oxford, 1978, pp. 237, 268, ill. p. 236, erroneously lists it as a drawing in a private collection.
Albert Boime. Thomas Couture and the Eclectic Vision. New Haven, 1980, p. 467, fig. XIII.15, relates Manet's technique here to that of Couture.
William R. Johnston. The Nineteenth Century Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery. Baltimore, 1982, p. 137.
Charles S. Moffett inManet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, pp. 424, 426–27, 429, no. 175, ill. (color) [French ed., Paris, 1983], dates all three of Manet's portraits of Moore to the late summer of 1878 or spring of 1879.
Juliet Wilson-Bareau in Charles S. Moffett and Françoise Cachin. Manet, 1832–1883. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, p. 412 [French ed., 1983].
Denys Sutton. "Édouard Manet: The Artist as Dandy." Apollo 118 (October 1983), p. 338, fig. 17.
Anne Coffin Hanson inManet, 1832–1883. Ed. Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983, p. 25 [French ed., 1983], calls it "the most sparsely painted" of Manet's unfinished paintings, but "complete in its aesthetic unity".
Michael Wilson. Manet at Work. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 1983, pp. 8–9, fig. 1.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, p. 48–49, ill. (color, overall and detail).
Georges Bernier. Paris Cafes: Their Role in the Birth of Modern Art. Exh. cat., Wildenstein. New York, 1985, pp. 55, 119, ill. p. 54 (color).
John Milner. The Studios of Paris: The Capital of Art in the Late Nineteenth Century. New Haven, 1988, p. 145, pl. 154, dates it 1878.
Haruo Arikawa. "A New Point of View on Van Gogh's Portrait Paintings." Vincent Van Gogh: International Symposium. Ed. Shuji Takashina et al. Tokyo, 1988, p. 41, fig. 17, discusses the painting as a possible source for Paul Gauguin's "The Night Café" (Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow).
Éric Darragon. Manet. Paris, 1989, p. 314.
Françoise Cachin. Manet. [Paris], 1990, p. 130, fig. 2 (color).
Barbara Stern Shapiro et. al. Pleasures of Paris: Daumier to Picasso. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1991, pp. 155, 187, no. 144, ill. (color).
Kenneth McConkey and Ysanne Holt. Impressionism in Britain. Exh. cat., Barbican Art Gallery, London. New Haven, 1995, pp. 30, 156, 211 n. 50, no. 131, ill. (color), notes the similarity of this pose to "The Plum" (National Gallery of Art, Washington); suggests that Manet may have intended to insert a cigarette in Moore's left hand, but cites the closest parallel to the present work in "Chez Tortoni" (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston), with its "similar intention to juxtapose the figure with the half-consumed glass of beer".
Andrea Kirsh and Rustin S. Levenson. Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies. New Haven, 2000, p. 265.
Alexander Sturgis inRebels and Martyrs: The Image of the Artist in the Nineteenth Century. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2006, pp. 124–25, no. 42, ill. (color).
MaryAnne Stevens inManet: Portraying Life. Exh. cat., Toledo Museum of Art. London, 2012, pp. 21, 189, under no. 32, fig. 5 (color), places it among Manet's oil paintings that were abandoned at a very early stage that reveal his technique of working directly on the support in oil to define a sitter's features and pose.
Colin B. Bailey inManet: Portraying Life. Exh. cat., Toledo Museum of Art. London, 2012, p. 63.
Sarah Lea inManet: Portraying Life. Exh. cat., Toledo Museum of Art. London, 2012, p. 174.
Asher Ethan Miller inUnfinished: Thoughts Left Visible. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. New York, 2016, p. 299, colorpl. 78, notes that it is one of two unfinished paintings of Moore that Manet kept until he died, with "George Moore in the Artist's Garden" (ca. 1879, National Gallery of Art, Washington); cites it as an example of Manet's blending of portraiture and genre subjects in the late 1870s.
This unfinished portrait of 1878 or 1879 depicts the Irish writer George Moore (1852–1933) at the Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes, a gathering place for artists and writers, where Manet probably met Moore.
The Museum also owns a pastel portrait of this sitter by Manet (29.100.55).