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A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

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The Boulevard

"oh! In Paris,there is liberty, there is the life of the intellect! A life both strange and fertile, a communicative life, a hot life, a lizard's life in the sun, an artistic life and an amusing life, a life of contrasts. The Boulevard, which is never the same, feels all the commotions of Paris: it has its hours of melancholy and its hours of tumult, its chaste hours and its hours of shame"
Balzac, Le Diable a Paris II(1845-6)

Balzac was writing even before the great Haussmannisation of Paris, which drove enormous wide Boulevards through the heart of old Paris. The 'idea' of the boulevard preceded its actuality.

"Manet was strictly a Parisian. He frequented "the Bopulevard", the space between the Rue Richelieu and the Chausee. This was before Paris was invaded by tourists so that a select society met there to socialize or promenade. Men of culture for four generations met there. Manet was one of the last representatives of this mode of life"
Theodore Duret, Manet and the French Impressionists, 1910

Haussmann
The Café Contert

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Life on the Boulevard

Illustrated London News

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