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100 Replies to “Better Know Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”

  1. I find myself frequently asking, has history stopped?, I am really unsure of what to answer, if it's rather really history repeating itself on a cycle over and over again or if we're just, kinda stuck… maybe

  2. Every time you upload a new video I start binge watching my favorite videos from your channel for hours… I love your channel so much! And so does my art teacher after I recommended it to her 🙃😍

  3. Odd… I didn't see it as a mirror and reflection, but two women, one facing us and the back of another talking to a man. Even after you point out ot is supposed to be a reflection, I still just see two women and a man. Odd.

  4. hmm , to me it seems like the mirror is what she might be doing at the moment, but the frontal view is what she feels inside–depressed, detached, wishing to be anywhere else? Interesting ideas here.

  5. Every single time i watch one of these "better know" videos i think to myself "wow! that was so good, there's no way they could possibly create a video thats more insightful" and every time a new one comes out i'm proven wrong

  6. what if he was trying to make the viewer see in vrimmersion . You are the man in the mirror staring at her that is why you do not see the man in front of her

  7. At first look, I did not think that the woman at the center of the painting was the same woman in the reflection. I didn't register a mirror as being present at all, were it not for that low dark red wall with the wooden trim, as the things on the counter in front of her are not reflected the same as on the "mirror" behind her. Instead I mostly saw a galley bar in a large room, with two bartender women who happen to be in the same pose and the same style of dress.

    But if we are positing that she is remembering an event in her past, that is understandable. You may notice that the woman in the center of the painting has red hair, but the reflection looks like more of a blonde. There are some people who have genetically changing hair color, wherein they are born with blonde hair and it darkens to brown or black in their elderly years, no dye required. My maternal grandmother (who was of French decent, but U.S. American all her life) was one of them, and I may have inherited the trait myself. It's too early to tell for certain as I am in my mid thirties, but I had light blonde hair at birth, but now have brownish red as in the figure at the center of the painting.

    If Suzanne/Suzon (his model you mentioned at 0:40) had that same trait, the "reflection" could have happened 10-15 years in her past. If Manet was going after an explanation to those blank expressions, this would be an excellent way of describing them as memories of the multitudes we all contain. This does seem a little far-fetched, but it's a theory I'm open to providing photographic proof from my past and present if you would like.

    I'm finding some help for this from the following article, which I cannot fully read as it's in French, but Google Translate is helpful with that. http://www.lesmardisdelart.fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/manet-8-un-bar-aux-folies-berg%C3%A8res-resum%C3%A9.pdf

  8. Before this video, I never really liked paintings, but this video opened my mind about paintings in general.
    I really enjoy Chez La Pére Lathuille after seeing it for the first time. It feels like something I would try to capture in my art as well. I love the compositional framing of the piece.

  9. the analysis of viewing the world and ourselves as commodities juxtaposed with the in-video sponsorship really threw me for a loop

  10. 3:47 I don't think we can rule out the possibility that Stephane Mallarme may have been an ancestor of Sam Elliot.

  11. I've always assumed that we, the viewer, were the man, but it could be a split between imagination; either we are imagined to be a conversationalist, or else she imagines herself alone though in conversation. I don't know, I'm not a genius.

  12. Wonderful analysis, wonderful Manet !
    I have my own interpretation, the reflection being a moment in time before the full face portrait of Suzanne.
    The reflection being an interaction, the portrait being the aftermath.
    Possibly 2 scenarios?
    #1
    Manet " Dear Suzanne, I know my credit has been stretched past its limit… just this once, please, push it a little more?
    (The reaction)
    Suzanne " Oh.. Edouard…."
    #2
    Manet " Suzanne, lean near. Dear Suzanne, it appears I have Cupid's Disease."
    (The reaction)
    Suzanne " oh…. Edouard."

  13. I'm dissapointed that you didn't mention in a lot of literature that the man depicted is usually implied to be the viewer. I'm a long time fan of this piece and particularly Jeff Wall's reenactment of it "Portrait for Women" but I wish this was more outlined.

  14. This video really made me want to spend more time in front of paintings. There are so many things I wouldn't have noticed whithout your video…

  15. Awesome video<3 Anyone that's ever worked in the service industry will recognise that look XD It's the "I have to seem super engaged with whoever talks to me, even if I'm really tired & bored."

  16. I was just thinking of this painting the other day. I think we are supposed to be the man in the reflection.

  17. I love this painting. It made my five favorite works of art when I immitated your format. I like, in particular, the way each object has its own perspective in a crowded room. Feeling alone in a crowd is certainly something that continues to be relevant

  18. I love this video, especially the script. The pace/editing is too fast for me, like you want to squeeze in too many words and pictures in a short duration of time (fortunately I could just pause and replay). Nevertheless it's a great and insightful video. The writer needs to get more credit here. Thank you! 🙂

  19. I'd really like to see how you do this videos. How you get all the little pieces of information together and then form it into a bigger thing.

  20. Suzzane was his wife, but the model used in most of his works, including Dejeuner, Folies, and Olympia, was Victorine Meurent. Dejeuner sur L'herbe would be more accurately linked to Marcantonio Raimondi's engraving the Judgement of Paris from 1510, than to Titian's piece, seeing as he essentially copied the figures right from Judgement.

  21. Wow, more of these please! I thought I knew about this painting, now I realize there's so much more in it and behind it!

  22. Here's a wild theory.

    What if the girl looking at us is, in fact, the projection of the girl's inner world and that the girl conversing with the man in the mirror is the one in reality?

    We've travelled from reality to the other side of the mirror and glimpsing into what the girl is actually thinking. This might explain the impossible angle of the reflection because that world is not bound to the law of physics.

  23. Just found out this painting won't be on display when i'm in london or when i'm in paris since it's going on loan to paris but not til after i leave 🙁

  24. I've loved this painting since I first learned about it in an art history class at my local community college. Thank you for making this video and all others I continue to be amazed and think harder about life as a result of your videos.

  25. I spent last summer living in London. I remember on the day of the London bridge attack sitting alone in front of this painting for hours feeling a connection with the woman's feeling of insignificance among the craze of city life. Thanks for a reminder of that special moment I had with this piece. A very emotional day for sure.

  26. Can’t help think of the irony of the final sombre statement going straight into an ad read for website building… good video tho

  27. It seems the majority of you have never worked for your livelihood as a service industry worker. The reference to prostitution is not foreign to those of us who ply our personality for tips. We are who you want us to be while you are dining/drinking with us and paying. Perhaps the bar is the barrier between what is psychically for sale versus what emotionally is. I have personally found it difficult to express how emotionally exhausting bartending can be from the decade I have worked in the industry.

  28. This parallels a passing thought I had earlier today about mirrors: Other than photography, they're the only way to see yourself as if you were another person. Had your first encounter been in such a crowded place, you would (eventually) notice a duplicate of everyone and everything, with the notable exception of a mysterious stranger.

    In light of this and the semiotic suggestion of commodification described in the video, I read the reflection as physical reality, bustling and social, and the direct 'gaze' as the woman's emotional reality, wistful and alone.

    The synthesis of those two parts immediately turns against me: I can see she's distraught, but don't recognize my role in it until I literally see my awkward form reflected back to me. Am I to blame, or just useless? My back is to the room, separating me from the festivities and the only connection to another person has failed. I…

    I'd like two tangerines and a cognac, please.

  29. I wrote a 4 page paper on this painting, and read through many academic papers to understand its meaning. I came to the conclusion that Manet just liked fooling around with the traditional way of painting. A true rebel.

  30. I thought you would touch more on capitalism and how it's a job she is doing and the job makes her lost and not as engaged because of capitalism.

  31. In my opinion, Manet was attempting to represent the view as if from his own eyes, thus you don’t see him in front of the girl, but you can see him in the mirror. This is how I interpret it.

  32. The first time I came across this painting, I was a student. Tired of studying and socializing, I probably saw myself in her, those eyes of hers asking what I asked myself back then: What more do you want? What more?

  33. Loved the video, but ugh I dislike Georg Simmel's view of the metropolis. I read his essay (which I believe was a transcription from a lecture?) as part of a sociology assignment, which was a labor of determination, as he is very verbose and seems to enjoy using long, overly complex sentences that nearly remove all meaning from his writing.

    Essentially, he argued that the modernization of cities created an overwhelming clamor of stimuli, causing the brain to numb against the frequent changes by closing off and relying only on rationality to function. This use of rationality, or intellectualism, was the "least sensitive and … furthest removed from the depths of personality." The money-economy (a relatively new development, with the rise of industrialism in the late 1800's) was entirely intertwined with that mind set of objectivity, encouraging city-dwellers to “deal with persons as with numbers … which are of interest only insofar as they offer something objectively perceivable.”

    He offers no evidence of the existence of this psychological phenomenon, which makes sense, seeing as he pioneered the sociological approach of anti-positivism, which proposes that the social realm cannot be studied with the scientific method.

    Despite this lack of proof, he uses the basis he established to argue that city-dwellers are indifferent to their environment and the small differences between things, and are only interested in the value attached to an object or person. This was a part of "blasé attitude." This attitude was also a reflection of the functionality of cities as a whole, who relied on strict organization and punctuality, leaving no room for differentiation.

    Dramatic quote about how the blasé attitude makes you look at things:
    It "hollows out the core of things, their peculiarities, their specific values and their uniqueness and incomparability in a way which is beyond repair.”

    The one positive aspect of cities he discusses is how the "sphere of indifference" allows for greater individual freedom, at the cost of belonging to social units, such as families or religious groups, since the individual would no longer take their social groups' values into consideration when making choices. In addition, the complex organization of cities allows for the city's metaphorical boundaries to stretch, both "temporally and spatially." He ensures to qualify this enhanced freedom, by stating "it is by no means necessary that the freedom of man reflect itself in his emotional life only as a pleasant experience.”

    He talks more about personalities becoming singularly-faceted and about the new divisions of labor after that.

    The ending, to me, is the most infuriating conclusion I've ever read. He states, AND I QUOTE, “it is not our task to complain or condone but only to understand.”

    A ridiculous assertion after multiple pages of complaints, based on absolutely no research or facts beyond his own mind and perception, and an explanation of how the one positive outcome (greater individual freedom) is not /really/ a positive.

    In addition, his point of view is strikingly limited. Simmel lived in two cities his whole life, Berlin and Strassburg, both a part of the German Empire at the time. He never acknowledges his lack of cultural knowledge, which was lacking regarding other European cities and cultures, and utterly non-existent for literally anywhere else on Earth. The peaceful, stable 'rural community' he contrasts with city life– he never lived in that setting, and since he doesn't approve of using evidence, there's no reason to believe that this rural life is truly the way he described!

    I read his annoying essay half a year ago and I'm still very passionate about how uninformed, biased, and reactionary it was. To me, his work should have no influence over our perspective of city-life. Evidence-based, logical perspectives should inform our beliefs instead.

  34. I’m so happy I found this channel! I’m taking art and fashion history at the moment and it’s super helpful for me to have a deeper understanding of these paintings. I’ve found that I later think of the paintings in a new perspective, which gets me excited about art even more!! 😃 thank you 💝

  35. I had always assumed that the 'reflection' was the activity happening on the other side of the bar,
    and was only a little curious why it is a little too out of focus

  36. And in time for the Courteauld exhibition at the National. I was there and spent like an hour in that corner, with the Tuileries, the Dejeuner and the Bar. It was fantastic. I recently wrote a paper on Manet's portrait of Monet, a brilliant painting. The ripples that Monet's boat creates are where the water is most brilliantly painted, as though the ripples of impressionism emanate from him as he paints.

  37. Maybe this painting was Manet's way of showing the viewer that in order to survive her job this young woman had to dissociate from her client. She looks so sad, depressed and alone. But if the reflection represents reality, she is not really "seeing" the client interacting with her. If she is a prostitute, I imagine that completely blocking out the client would be a coping mechanism for this profession. So her body may be present but her mind is temporarily elsewhere for own survival.

  38. The world always views you from an angle. Different angles. You're seen in context, interpreted in context, used for your context. Sometimes though, someone manages to see you point blank, someone is open enough to see you for who you are, for your thoughts, for your feelings, for how you see yourself.

  39. this discussion of Manet's great painting was going very well and I was loving it until an image of one of the Kardashinas appeared on the video. Then it plummeted and it totally crashed. Manet's bar-tending beauty belonged to a very different world

  40. I saw a woman on BART who looked just like you and asked her if she was the woman from Art Assignment. We were trying to extricate our bicycles from each other at the time as my stop approached. I wish I had time to ask for her number.

  41. Love all these art assignment videos—as a note, you might want to add a colon after "Better Know" like in the other titles. Thanks for all this great content.

  42. Her eyes says it all! She may be engaged in a conversation with a gentleman, as it is her job to entertain men, but her soul doesn't want to be here. It longs for a better life. She is depressed, stuck in an adverse situation.

  43. What a lovely series. Please do one for every major piece of art history, please. So hard to find quick intelligent, accessible explanations of artworks.

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