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A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

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Mirrors: Illogical Geometry

"An alternative view is that the scene to the right is a kind of materialization of the barmaid's 'reflections', a visual pun on her inward gaze. She is thinking about the gentleman she has recently met, or would like to meet, and how he could liberate her from this narrow space between the counter and the mirror. Although we see her only from the back, the figure in the reflection seems far more attentive and supplicant than the resigned woman facing us. The idea that this interchange represents a vignette of the barmaid's thought processes has clear appeal. Perhaps Manet is deliberately making the geometry of the reflections illogical to instigate our own reflections about the reflections of the introverted barmaid."

(C) Christopher W. Tyler, Manet's Last Painting 2002.

Looking forward and seeing backwards
Mirrors: Las Meninas
Mirrors: The Place of Realism

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Analysis of Reflection

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View with and without mirror

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