A Bar at the Folies-BergèreÉdouard Manet, 1882
Édouard Manet’s daring technique and bold choice of contemporary subject matter has led many to describe him as the father of Modernism. He studied for six years under Thomas Couture, but learnt most from making copies in the Louvre of the 17th century Spanish painter Diego Vélazquez. Despite his association with the Impressionists, he never once chose to exhibit alongside them, preferring instead to seek official recognition at the Salon. Ironically, the controversy provoked by both Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863) and Olympia (1865) established him as the figurehead of anti-establishment, avant-garde painting. Manet shared the Impressionists’ fascination with capturing modern life, and in particular leisure pursuits, through loose expressive brushwork. Under the influence of Monet and Berthe Morisot, he embraced painting en plain air with a brighter palette. The painterly brilliance of his last major work, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882), stands as a highpoint of nineteenth-century art.