A Bar at the Folie-Bergere by Edouard Manet, 1881-82

High School ・Art ・MLA ・1 Sources


At a Paris Salon exhibition in 1882, a painting famously called A Bar at the Folie-Bergere was created by a French artist called Edouard Manet. The love and passion he had for urban show and leisure inspired him to create the painting. Painting as an aspect of artwork helps to showcase the part of the society that the artists lived in and this painting had defied time to remain an artistic classic which help to provide inspiration and desire to artists even in modern times. The French artist (Edouard Manet) was able to show his artwork a year to his death but the painting is set in a famous Paris concert hall called Folie-Bergere. The painting contains a bar maid standing behind a bar counter and looking at the customers (Artwork Analysis A Bar at the Folie-Bergere). There is a mirror behind the barmaid showing different reflections. In the mirror, you notice an image of a man directly in front of the barmaid. You also notice the barmaid leaning towards the man in an attempt to serve him. The woman behind the bar counters represents one of the prostitutes, while the man she is leaning towards, the customer. The painting is a portrayal of the love for prostitutes and the pleasure of the flesh that the Folie-Bergere was so famously known for during that era. It is believed that Edouard Manet died of syphilis and the painting might have been a reflection of the pleasures that took his life.

Depiction of Mood and Theme

Despite showcasing modern features in the painting, including electric lighting, the painting is also characterized by a somber mood and a feeling of alienation. It brings to the fore the theme of morality at Folie-Bergere. The Folie-Bergere was a well-known hunting ground for prostitutes. The colors in the painting are subdued, which is a reflection of the sadness and isolation. However, the painting also includes bright lighting which the artist might have used to express modernity (Artwork Analysis A Bar at the Folie-Bergere).

Influence and Significance

Modern artists and painters continue to be fascinated by the quality and intensity of A Bar at the Folie-Bergere. The painting reveals the kind of lifestyle at that particular time. It brilliantly depicts the topics of modernity, morality sadness and alienation all in one painting.

Work Cited

“Artwork Analysis a Bar at the Folies Bergere.” PAH Nation. (n.d). http://www.pahnation.com/artwork-analysis-a-bar-at-the-folies-bergere/, Accessed 8 Sept. 2017.

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