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A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
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A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

1882

Edouard Manet (1832 - 1883)

Height: 137.3 cm ( frame ); Depth: 17 cm ( frame ); Width: 171.6 cm ( frame ); Width: 130 cm ( canvas ); Height: 96 cm ( canvas );

Inscription
Signed, on bottom wine label, bottom left, recto, Manet / 1882

Acquisition
Courtauld, Samuel; gift; 1934
P.1934.SC.234

About this work
The Folies-Bergère was Paris’s first music hall. A magazine described its atmosphere of ‘unmixed joy’ where everyone spoke ‘the language of pleasure’. It was notorious for the access it gave to prostitutes. The barmaids, according to the poet Maupassant, were ‘vendors of drink and of love’.

This picture was Manet’s last major work, exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1882. Manet knew the Folies-Bergère well. He made preparatory sketches on site, but the final painting was executed in his studio. He set up a bar and employed one of the barmaids, Suzon, to pose behind it.

Manet’s picture is unsettling. An acrobat’s feet, clad in green boots, dangle in the air. The quickly sketched crowds convey the bustle of the Folies-Bergères. In contrast, the barmaid is detached and marooned behind her bar, with her reflection displaced to the right. She stares at the viewer, but the mirror shows her facing a customer. (Permanent collection label)



This work is on display
While we make every effort to ensure this information is correct, displays are subject to last-minute changes.



Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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