A beautiful vintage offset lithograph of A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1881) by Édouard Manet (1832-1883). This lithograph is printed on one side only and hand tipped-in on a sheet of heavy paper.

Professionally custom framed in rose gold at 12 1/8” x 9 5/8”.

Commentary from 1953 by S. Lane Faison, Jr., Chairman, Department of Fine Arts, Williams College from 1948-1976

IT IS INSTRUCTIVE TO COMPARE this serene masterpiece of Manet's last years with the smaller oil sketch (about half as high), in the Boymans Museum, Rotterdam. In the sketch, Manet intended to set down as spontaneously as he could a momentary impression, including its image in a mirror. With quick strokes of a heavily loaded brush he accented the animation of the passing show.

Except for the fact that the color is rather subdued, here is the very essence of the Impressionist point of view.

When Manet came to consider the final composition, he regarded Impressionism as no more than a means to an end: to express himself in formally disciplined and traditionally durable terms, as in his work of the sixties. Observe what liberties he has taken with appearance, how he has rearranged what he saw in order to clarify what he felt. The result, with its unexpected overtones of architectural sculpture, differs profoundly from the Impressionist ideal.

The girl's position is now strongly fixed in the picture plane and on the vertical axis. She is set apart physically as her pose and the direction of her gaze set her apart psychologically. If there is a "real" man, corresponding to the man in the mirror at the extreme right, the girl is not looking at him, whatever her reflection may tell us to the contrary. Such a man, if he ever existed, stood where we, as spectators, stand. The sudden identification of oneself with an image in a painted mirror is one of the several queer experiences this painting offers.

Is the reflected girl the same person who occupies the center of the picture? If so, Manet has shifted his own position as spec-tator, and thereby destroyed forever the illusion of a single moment in time. This is perhaps the major difference between the impact of the sketch and the final work.

As we should expect, the colors of the "real" and the reflected bottles match; but the reflected bottles are on the wrong side of the table. If the reflections in the gold-framed mirror were corrected to correspond with the two "real" bottles, their new position would hopelessly confuse the clean sequence of planes back into the space that Manet has invented. He has consistently relegated the world of illusion to the extremities and to the back-ground. The couple at the right are glassy apparitions, while the figures in the distant balcony, below the great chandelier (itself an image of glass in glass), look far off to the left. From high above them, but still in the mirror, an acrobat dangles green shoes.