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Edouard Manet A Bar at the Folies-Bergere Manet was born in France in 1832 and was raised by his parents Auguste and Eugenie-Desiree a society couple whos social standing resulted from Augustes successful career in the Ministry of Justice Paris The Bar at the Folies-Bergere was Manets last painting before his death in 1883 at the age of 51 The subject is a night and the nightlife at the Folies-Bergere The central figure of the painting is a barmaid who while sporting a weary look on her face stands in front of a bar mirror which gives the viewer a look at the action taking place While she seems to be looking at us she is really waiting on a customer who can be seen in the top right-hand corner Manet created depth in the composition by using several techniques Linear perspective is apparent in the table behind the woman and in the lines of the walls Traditional methods such as alternating light and dark colors warm and cold colors and superimposition further enhance the illusion of depth Manet created a mirrored wall in the background that reflects the scene before the barmaid This mirror also reflects another mirror on the far side of the bar The positioning of these mirrors in such a way enables the viewer to observe the seemly infinite number of scenes and movements over the course of time within the bar The people in the background are bold strokes on the canvas The focus is on the lighting that gives the room a cheery atmosphere and not on the faces of the people This busy composition provides plenty for the eyes to view At first glance it seems to depict the professional life of a Parisian barmaid Her reflection appears in the background mirror with that of a man Upon closer inspection it is obvious that the reflection could not possibly be where it is Manet has twisted the
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