Art: The Most Parisian of Them All

At the Metropolitan, the urbane, formal mastery of Manet

When Edouard Manet died of tertiary syphilis in 1883 at the age of 51, Emile Zola and Claude Monet helped carry his coffin to the grave. In life, his milieu had included nearly every French artist of significance, along with writers of the stature of Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarmé; the latter called him "goat-footed, a virile innocence in beige overcoat, beard and thin blond hair graying with wit." Dressed to the nines, Manet was celebrated as a dandy in that city of dandies,...

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