"A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" by Édouard Manet


"A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" is Édouard Manet's last major work. Painted in 1882, the work depicts a scene in a Paris nightclub in the Realist style that the artist for which the artist was known. The scene is somewhat controversial—is the woman standing in front of a massive mirror or does the viewer look out toward a massive crowd? Beyond the technical aspects of the painting, the setting invites the viewers to consider the social and philosophical implications of the work.

Questions to Consider

  1. What features or elements of the painting transmit the most information to you as a viewer? 
  2. How does the gaze of the central woman (or its absence) affect your interpretation of the scene? 
  3. Does the woman appear to be part of the crowd behind her or isolated from it? Why?
  4. What does this painting suggest about individual and collective identity? 

Previous Citation(s)
By Édouard Manet - https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/a-bar-at-the-folies-berg%C3%A8re-eduard-manet/NQE8B0Mjo2nq2g?hl=en, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=131721934

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Access it online or download it at https://open.byu.edu/new/manet.