At the other end of the economic spectrum is the barmaid in Edouard Manetís A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, 1881-2. This is a representation of a working girl, bourgeois, and middle class.

As an employee of a nightclub, she wears a uniform with a moderate amount of lace and a little jewelry. Body proportions? The costume suggests a large, horizontal bust line, small waist, and very wide hips - an exaggerated hourglass figure. Accessories? The flowers in or over her cleavage draw attention and soften her bust line. The black ribbon with hanging locket was a typical token of prostitution. (Perhaps, she needed to earn extra money on the side, as was typical for women on their own at the end of the 19th century.) Obviously, the main props are the counter, bottles of champagne, wine and liquor defining her role as a barmaid. The wall behind her is covered with a large mirror in which are reflected the chandelier, patrons of the nightclub, and to the right, the man to whom she is talking. If we ignore the spatial irregularity of the barmaidís and customerís reflections being transferred over to the right, the man is standing where we should be. For she looks directly out at us as she is directly looking into the eyes of the customer. While the staging of this painting may not have been for the purpose of propaganda, it does introduce many details about her and her environment, and serves as a documentary of the realities of young women in the workplace.

 

INSERT IN THIS BOX IMAGE TITLED ďCOURBET STONEBREAKERĒ 

Representing men at work is Gustave Courbetís The Stone Breakers, 1849. This represents two construction workers. Though wearing trousers, white shirts, and one a hat, the clothes are torn and tattered appropriate to the menial aspect of their labor. Body proportions? The clothing is tight in order to outline the volumes of the arms, backs, buttocks, and legs. Accessories? The pick axes, broken rocks, heavy-duty basket and cooking pot draw our attention to the tools of the trade and workersí routine. The color scheme of the painting also relates to those who work off the earth.