I love the paintings of Edouard Manet, one of the French Impressionists. It is so hard to pick just one painting to show his work, but I’ve chosen A Bar at the Folies BergÃ¨re, which to my mind is just marvellous.
I’ve seen this in the flesh, as it were, at the Courtauld Institute at Somerset House on The Strand in London. It’s a lot smaller than I imagined it would be. It’s an ambiguous painting as some see the barmaid as not just selling her wares but as a prostitute and the man reflected in the mirror as a potential client. It’s also intriguing because it’s difficult to tell if the scene in the background is a mirror reflecting what is in front of the barmaid, but then her reflection is not in the right place, nor are the bottles matched up.
I love all the details and colours of this painting as well as the overall effect. I love the atmosphere it creates , with the barmaid isolated, lost in her own thoughts in a crowded room. She is the still point in a busy, noisy place.
Manet painted this in 1882, oil on canvas.
An ABC Wednesday post.