Edouard Manet – Bar at the Folies-Bergeres (1882)

In this his last great masterpiece, Manet returned again to studio painting, a somber palette and eliminated mid tones. The cafe concert is a theme which Manet had been treating in the late 70’s in paintings such as Corner in a Cafe Concert and The Cafe. But here at Bar at the Folies-Bergere, we are no longer spectators, but participants in the painting. While the Barmaid occupies the center of the piece, the painting is filled with a menagerie of characters from seated couples to trapeze artists. Glittering chandeliers and electric lights fill the upper portion of the work. Here, as in other works optical contradictions abound, such as the relection of the waitress which is visually incorrect but spellbinding.

A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres
Oil on canvas
37 3/4 x 51 1/4 in. (96 x 130 cm)
Courtauld Institute Galleries, London



Filed under Art

3 responses to “Edouard Manet – Bar at the Folies-Bergeres (1882)

  1. joe

    i love this painting.  i wasn\’t aware that it was his last piece.  i\’ve always loved the way that it plays with us; the barmaid in the reflection who is so obviously not the barmaid who gazes out at us, the peculiar positioning of the bottles, the feet of the trapeze artist, the goateed toff patron looming to the right.  a fantastic picture. 
    keep up the sterling work, my man.

  2. The Divine Mrs M

    Hi Dermott,
    My tired eyes lit on your space and found a feast!
    thanks for the really kind comment you left for me on my space, it really did warm my heart.
    and if I may say so Dermott, you are a mighty fine contributor to Spaces yourself!   🙂
    i hope you have a lovely weekend.
    mags x

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