The theme of this painting is revolutionary. While the common practice in French art at that time was to depict mythological, historical or biblical themes, Manet chose to paint a real woman. Not just any woman but a prostitute.
The public was so outraged by the painting that guards had to be stationed next to the artwork to protect it. The painting was later moved to a spot high above a doorway where it could not be reached.
Portrait of Henry Bernstein as a Child
– Henri Bernstein was a popular playwright who was known for a series of sensational melodramas. He was also known for his campaigns against Nazism and anti-Semitism. His anti-Nazi play Elvire played in Paris until the city fell to the Germans.
– The sailor’s suit depicted in this was popular in Europe and America in the 19th century and has since been adopted as school uniforms in some Asian countries.
The Bar at the Folies Bergere
The painting was Manet’s last major work. It was presented by Manet at the Paris Salon a year before he died.
The Folies Bergère was famous for its elaborate variety shows ranging from ballets to circus acts. The Folies Bergère is considered as a strong symbol of French and Parisian life and it is still in business to this day.