Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Drink Art: A Bar at the Folies-Bergere by Edouard Manet
Drink Art is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that looks at famous works of art depicting men and women enjoying life and drink.
A Bar at the Folies-Bergere
Edouard Manet was a French painter involved in the transition from Realism to Impressionism styles. Early in his career many of Manet's works were controversial and he sometimes struggled to get exposure for his paintings as conservative galleries rejected them. He painted people in every day scenes and became well respected for his work, even though his last major piece, A Bar at the Folies-Bergere was criticized when it was first shown in 1882. It still creates debate today, with some suggesting the woman reflected in the mirror is the barmaid talking to a man and that Manet was making a point about prostitution in Paris at the time.
Manet's painting depicts a bar at the Folies-Bergere nightclub in Paris. The barmaid is waiting to serve customers a range of drinks from Champagne to Bass Ale. One can almost imagine throwing back a few in the club as the floor show unfolded, with its lively dancers and young ladies above on trapeze.
A Bar at the Folies-Bergere is part of the collection of the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London.