"The subject is very modern and Manet's idea of thus putting the female figure in its environment is ingenious; but what is the meaning of the lighting? Is it gas or electricity? Or is it perhaps an indefinite out-of-doors light, bathed in pale daylight? From this point of view, everything falls apart. The Folies Bergère can only exist in the evening"
"If one uses the word masterly only to mean serious painting, Manet is not a master; far from it... it seems that this painting represents a bar of the Folies-Bergère; that this violently blue dress, surmounted by a cardboard head such as we used to see in milliners' windows, represents a woman... Is this painting true? No! Is it attractive? No! Well, then! What is it?"
Henry Houssaye, Revue des deux mondes, May/June, 1882
"...a painter who has not even the elementary qualification of knowing his trade"
Jules Comte, L'Illustration, May 1882
George Heard Hamilton, Manet & His Critics, Yale University Press, 1986