Olympia and A Bar at the Folies Bergère
Two unforgettable, complex and still mysterious works
Olympia and A Bar in the Folies Bergère by Édouard Manet are paintings so familiar that
they have almost lost their mystery.
But what about Olympia? Why did what was, in the end, just one of many nudes provoke the most violent outcry that Paris, the capital of prostitution, had ever seen? The story of a triple taboo: philosophical, bourgeois and sexual.
As for A Bar, who is this luxuriously dressed young woman working as a waitress at the Folies Bergère? How does she relate to the viewer? To the customer? Will we ever know? The richness of the painting also lies in the multitude of possible interpretations.
These two masterpieces of Western art are fascinating, and Manet still surprises us today. A tribute to the master.