Sotheby’s To Auction First Version of Manet’s ‘Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère’

First version of Le Bar aux Folies Bergère. COURTESY SOTHEBY'S

First version of Le Bar aux Folies Bergère.


Sotheby’s is offering the first version of Édouard Manet’s painting series Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère (1881), estimated at £15-20 million ($23-30.7 million / €21-28 million), at their upcoming Impressionist & Modern evening sale on June 24. The painting’s sale follows its recent exhibition at the National Gallery’s “Inventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market” show. As the second and third versions are in the possession of the Courtauld Gallery, the painting will be the only version in the series to remain privately owned.

The painting remained in Manet’s personal collection until his death, at which point his dealer Paul Durand-Ruel displayed the work to the public for the first time in a 1905 exhibition at Grafton Galleries intended to introduce the British public to Impressionism. In a statement, Sotheby’s co-head of Impressionist & Modern art Helena Newman referred to the painting as “an iconic image of modern Paris [produced from an everyday setting].”

Before the auction, the painting will be exhibited at Sotheby’s in London from June 19-24.

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