ABC Wednesday – M is for Manet

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 Bergère, 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 A Bar at the Folies Bergeres

Manet painted this in 1882, oil on canvas.

An ABC Wednesday post.

7 thoughts on “ABC Wednesday – M is for Manet”

  1. Manet is one of my favourites, too, but I prefer Monet. Maybe because I went to Giverny and experienced his home first-hand. There is something about impressionism that gets me every time. This is a marvelous painting and you’ve given me lots to think about when I look at it.

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  2. A fine choice, and your comments made me look at it properly. We often *think* we know a painting backwards and forwards, don´t we, until someone points out new details.

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