John Rewald (1912-1994) was a scholar and a connoisseur of art, and his History of Impressionism remains a standard work on the subject.
"At the Salon of 1882 Manet, now hors concours, exhibited a large canvas... an ambitious composition painted with tremendous virtuosity. Once more he revealed the power of his brush, the subtlety of his observation, and the courage to be unconventional. Like Degas he had remained consistently interested in contemporary subjects - he even planned to paint an engineer on a locomotive - yet he approached these not with the eye of a cold observer but with the brilliant enthusiasm of an explorer on the trail of new aspects of life. As a matter of fact, Degas did not like his last painting, calling it 'dull and subtle'."