|This is one of the first truly 'modern' paintings of the 19th century. Through its subject matter and technique, it became a key work, influential in the development of younger painters. Manet did this painting in his studio. It was not exhibited until a year later at Martinet's studio, where it provoked a angry response.
The violent reaction stemmed largely from Manet's isolated patches of color and inconsistent handling of the paint. Manet imitating reality gave some areas sharp definition and others almost none. He also used colors newly available to artists: cobalt blue and naples yellow. Manet is also in this painting; second from the left.
The fact that the date 1862 is in a different color from the signature may support the hypothesis that it was put there two years after the picture was painted.