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Bar at the Folies-bergère

Edouard Manet • Painting, 1882, 97×130 cm

Description of the artwork «Bar at the Folies-bergère»

After 20 years of ridicule and bullying Edouard Manet received in this year's long-awaited Legion of honor, and the opportunity to show his works at the French Salon without the approval of the jury, "no contest". But even these honors did Manet understandable for contemporaries. The artist stayed only a year, he suffered from excruciating pain, were exhausting treatment and was not able to work, portraits and still lifes are increasingly painted with pastels, throwing started work and not been able to return to them for several months.

In this state, Manet wrote his most mysterious painting, a new interpretation of which offer art-critics so far – "Bar "Folies-Bergere". Manet rarely requires narrative and symbolic interpretation of images – many elements in his paintings appeared only because it was required of the picturesque the law works. Manet often played with textures and colors, and not telling stories. But not in this picture.

The space created by Manet in this painting, the perfect illusion, the unreality of which, you start to realize only when you look into the deliberate inconsistencies.

St. Petersburg art critic Ilya Doronchenkov offers to start a list of the mysteries of the paintings directly from the genre. Portrait? Similar, but too complicated for a portrait, though it depicts a particular person – the bartender Susann, which regulars "Folies bergère" is well known. For domestic scenes here, too, too many mysteries-reflections: a mirror to the crowd, bottles reflected in the mirror in the wrong order, a reflection of men, which logically stand that we, the audience. Hold on tight, we are in the air! In the mirror it shows.

All these optical illusion cause the glance to catch on and move on – look for discrepancies psychological. Attractive girl behind the bar is a marketing ploy similar places of entertainment. She needs to stop passing and get him to buy a glass of champagne, but she looks through us, it is detached and disengaged from what is happening. But in the mirror she is the same, but with completely different shapes shapes, more dense and rounded, behaves as it should, or the way I behaved a moment ago – he leans to the man.

Social critics looking for in her way the similarity with the product, which is sold as well as drinks at the bar and in her sadness find the reaction to this situation. Classic art history sees the position of her hands analogy with the ancient images of the mother of God and Christ. But no supposition is not confirmed by the artist himself and is not obvious. He appeals to the activity of the spectator gaze, not giving answers to our questions.

Mane 20 years only those involved that changes the viewer's eyes, raises in them a new perception of the painting. And at the end of life, the artist creates a work, which will start the new process in relations between the Creator and the viewer – the joint work and the creation of meaning.

By the way, a year earlier, Manet sketched this bar with another character - in 2015 sketch was sold for $ 26.6 million.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova