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Yesterday we again discussed the work of Manet. I have added two paintings by him that were originally one. It is interesting to question why Manet separated and split the original canvas. Are both paintings successful? Or does the original idea for the painting work better? The main clue that they were originally the same painting is the table that runs towards the middle of the picture. The pictures were shown together in 2005 at the Oskar Reinhart collection in the town of Winterthur in Switzerland.

‘The paintings, Au café and Coin de café-concert, started off life on the same canvas, but Manet decided to cut the picture in half to create two separate works.

Art lovers were baffled for years about what the artist originally intended to create, until the paintings were brought together at the Manet meets Manet exhibition at the Oskar Reinhart collection in the town of Winterthur. This is the first time they have been shown together in 125 years. Both paintings depict figures seated around opposite sides of a table in a café. The canvas was cut in half when the artist revised his original plan. Experts Juliet Wilson-Bareau and Malcolm Park were able to peer beneath the paint at the underlying sketches by x-raying each canvas and bringing both frames together for the first time. They discovered that Manet had intended to paint a singer in the background entertaining the café customers in the original painting, which he was going to call Reichshoffen. The find was made possible when the National Gallery in London agreed to loan Coin de café-concert to the Oskar Reinhart collection, which already houses Au café at the Am Römerholz villa overlooking Winterthur.


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