A Bar at the Folies-Bergère




A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

Date of Production



Height: 96 cm (canvas)
Width: 130 cm (canvas)

Accession Number


Mode of Acquisition

Samuel Courtauld, gift, 1934


The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)


On display



Label Text

The Folies-Bergère was Paris’s first music hall. A magazine described its atmosphere of ‘unmixed joy’ where everyone spoke ‘the language of pleasure’. It was notorious for the access it gave to prostitutes. The barmaids, according to the poet Maupassant, were ‘vendors of drink and of love’.

This picture was Manet’s last major work, exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1882. Manet knew the Folies-Bergère well. He made preparatory sketches on site, but the final painting was executed in his studio. He set up a bar and employed one of the barmaids, Suzon, to pose behind it.

Manet’s picture is unsettling. An acrobat’s feet, clad in green boots, dangle in the air. The quickly sketched crowds convey the bustle of the Folies-Bergères. In contrast, the barmaid is detached and marooned behind her bar, with her reflection displaced to the right. She stares at the viewer, but the mirror shows her facing a customer.


Inventory prepared after Manet’s death 1883, no 9; Manet Studio Sale, Drouot, Paris, 4-5 February 1884 (lot 7), bought Chabrier; Emmanuel Chabrier; Chabrier Sale, Drouot, Paris, 26 March 1896 (lot 8); Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1897; Auguste Pellerin, Paris; Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, and Paul Cassirer, Berlin; Eduard Arnhold, Berlin; Baron Ferenc Hatvany, Budapest, by 1919; Justin K Thannauser, Munich; Eric Goeritz, Berlin; Thannhauser Gallery, Lucerne; through The Independent Gallery, London; purchased by Samuel Courtauld, March 1926; Courtauld Gift, 1934.

Exhibition History

Masterpieces of Impressionism from The Courtauld Gallery, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 10/09/2019-15/12/2019; Aichi Prefectural Museum, Nagoya, Japan, 03/01/2020-15/03/2020; Kobe City Museum, Kobe, Japan, 28/03/2020-21/06/2020

The Courtauld Collection. A Vision for Impressionism, Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, 20/02/2019-17/06/2019

Courtauld Impressionists: From Manet to Cezanne, National Gallery, London, 17/09/2018-20/01/2019 ...More

Part of general displays, Los Angeles & California & USA, 05/06/2007-09/09/2007

Manet - Face to Face, Neuepinakothek, Munich, Germany, 20/01/2005-10/04/2005

Manet - Face to Face, The Courtauld Gallery & Somerset House & London & England, 14/10/2004-09/01/2005

Manet at the Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 13/10/2003-08/02/2004

Into the 20th century - New Displays at the Courtauld, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 10/10/2002

The Courtauld Collection: Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 14/06/1998-21/09/1998

The Courtauld Collection, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, 26/12/1997-12/05/1998

Manet - Centenary Exhibition, New York & USA, 10/09/1983-27/11/1983

Manet - Centenary Exhibition, Grand Palais & Paris & France, 22/04/1983-01/08/1983

Manet and his circle, Tate Gallery, London, 1954 ...Less


The Courtauld Collection: Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1998

Manet and his circle, Tate Gallery, London, 1954
cat. no. 16


Inscription: Manet / 1882

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