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Edouard ManetBefore attempting to anaylse the significance of gender within Edouard Manets work entitled A Bar atthe Folies-BergereX one must first identify and note the somewhat colourful events which occurredwithin the artist life and note the way in which they must have undoubtedly prejudiced his work Born in France in 1832 Manet was raised by his parents Auguste and Eugenie-Desiree a society couplewhos social standing resulted from Augustes successful career in the Ministry of Justice Paris Indeed so successful was Auguste in his chosen field that upon his retirement he was awarded the Legionof Honor It is thought by many that the importance of Augustes role in both society and the ministryactually intimidated the young Manet who constantly aspired throughout his adult life to gain the samelevel of reverence as that which his father possessed In fact so intrinsic is Manets personal background to the analysis of the artists treatment of genderwithin his work that any substantial theory concerning this subject must be founded upon a detailedstudy of the artists formative years Such a personal focus as this allows the particularities foundwithin Manets relationships with women to become apparent and therefore in part aids theunderstanding of the complex interactionalism found between the characters within his painted scenes However it is the actions of the artists youth which many theorists believe is the key to understandingthe ambiguous portrayal of woman within his painting of A Bar at the Folies-BergereX It was during thelate 1850s when Manet was serving as a naval cadet in Rio de Janeiro that he met a number of slavegirls Manet had openly admitted in letters to his friends the extend to which he found their tropicalbeauty alluring Yet is was not until Manet returned to France that he reveled the true extent of hisrelationships with these girls and confessedto the fact that they allowed his time there to be served inrelative sexual promiscuity But why should such behavior which it
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