Art: From Hoots to Honors

"The most important person in any picture," Edouard Manet once remarked, "is the light." Manet's painted light illumined a Manhattan gallery last week—and also lit up some of his borrowings. It was the largest collection of Manet's works (88 in all) Manhattan had ever seen.

There was an Absinthe Drinker reminiscent of Frans Hals, a Spanish Ballet in Goya's broad, fluent style, a flag-decked street brushed loosely and brightly in the manner of Monet,* and a rather plain blonde mooning over a plum in a cafe which Degas might have painted. Their sources were often apparent, but Manet's clean, revealing light...

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