Janson's History of Art
The Western TraditionBook - 2007
Edouard Manet was one of the most innovative and controversial artists in the 19th century. A painter of modern life, he portrayed the new leisure activities of Parisian aristocracy and bourgeoisie. A Bar at the Folies-Bergere reflects Manet's interest in the new social mobility of Parisian society as a result of the Industrial Revolution and the interaction of classes. The viewer is presented with a mirror set close behind the barmaid, which reflects the densely packed sparkling interior of the famous dance hall that virtually symbolized Parisian nightlife at the time. Also reflected in the mirror is a man across the counter, facing the barmaid. The scene suggests that he is propositioning her, for as is well known, the servers were as available as the drinks and the sexually symbolic fruit on the counter. Strikingly in contrast with the buoyant setting, this act of interaction between social classes reflects the grim aspect of modern life that comes with the increasing commodification of society. But as is typical of Manet, the picture, filled with references and hidden meanings, defies any one interpretation and is open to multiple readings. Book jacket.
Publisher: Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson Prentice Hall, 
Edition: Seventh edition.
Copyright Date: ©2007
Branch Call Number: 709 JAN
Characteristics: 1 volume (various pagings) : illustrations (chiefly color), maps (chiefly color) ; 30 cm
Alternative Title: History of art