Reworking Manet: Live Project Brief

Live Project Brief for state school students aged 14-18 | Selected artworks will be displayed in The Courtauld Gallery and online between Oct 2023 - Feb 2024.

Online Gallery and Virtual Tour

The Reworking Manet exhibition showcases a selection of outstanding works made by students aged 14 to 18 from across the UK. They are creative responses to Édouard Manet’s famous painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) in the Courtauld Gallery. These reworkings explore a wealth of themes drawn from the painting and seek to raise important issues in our everyday lives.

Visit the Reworking Manet exhibition in The Project Space at The Courtauld Gallery between 18 Oct 2023 – 18 Feb 2024.

View online Reworking Manet exhibition pages

Launch a virtual tour of the exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery

i A Bar at the Folies-Bergère 2023. Ellie, age 18. Reworking Manet Exhibition 2023 | The Courtauld. Image credit: Finn Arschavir and Tasmiya Tasmi

Live Brief

Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) is considered his best work because it pushes at the boundaries of art and portraiture in many different ways, inviting the viewer to consider some powerful questions about Paris social life at the time and we want you to do the same in 2023.

We are really interested to see and hear your ideas about how this work connects with our social lives and values now. Whether you are an artist, writer, performer, designer, musician or historian, The Courtauld would like you to research, interrogate and create a personal response to the painting in any media. You may work collaboratively, or independently to create a response.

By exploring aspects of the painting, from its materials and techniques, historical context and hidden meanings, we want you to draw out contemporary parallels and respond creatively to what you discover.

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882 i Édouard Manet (1832-1883), A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882), oil on canvas, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust © The Courtauld

Creating your response

A response is not a copy of the original artwork but a completely new interpretation. We are looking for a personal response that interrogates a theme drawn from A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and comments on contemporary issues you are passionate about. You might choose to focus on:

Biographical: Who was the artist? What was he trying to say?

Representation: Who are the figures within the painting? How are they represented, and why?

Society: What does the painting say about society then and now? What contemporary parallels can you draw?

Meaning: How did people engage with the painting at the time it was made? What do they say about it today?’

Four different images showing different personal interpretations of Manet's, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

Tool Kit

We invited contemporary artist Jeremy Deller to collaborate with a group of young people tasked with creating an artwork for The Courtauld’s new Leon Kossoff Learning Centre. Jeremy chose Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère as their starting point.

We have created a resource using examples of the project to support your research and inspire your creative response to the painting.

Check out the Reworking Manet toolkit
Multiple drawings of responces to Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère i Drawings from a Reworking Manet workshop which looked to create responses to Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère.

Live Webinars

Get in touch to join our series of online events and discover more about our live brief and A Bar at the Folies-Bergère.

Our webinars are open to UK state students aged 14-18:

Introducing the Reworking Manet Live Brief (1 hour)

An introductory webinar

The Bar | Up Close (2 hours)
Focused on Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

Creating a response and how to document it (1 hour)
Researching, generating and presenting creative responses

Book onto a Reworking Manet Webinar now
Screen shot of three people talking to each other on a webinar. Purple background.

Submit your work

We welcome responses in all shapes, sizes, and formats. This includes artwork, spoken word, essays, musical composition, performances, and documentary film/photography.

The key element is that your work must explore connected themes linked to A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, such as gender and identity, fashion, leisure and entertainment, consumerism, and innovations in science and technology.

Submissions open: Now!
Submission deadline: Ongoing, for inclusion in our online exhibition

Find out how to submit your response
Text saying 'submit now!'

Teachers and educators

We are running a limited number of introductory workshops for state schools/colleges on a first come, first served basis.

If you are a teacher and would like to book an online webinar, in-person gallery visit, or in-school/college session for your students, please e-mail:

Teachers and educators are free to use the toolkit and resources found on this webpage to launch Reworking Manet in their classroom. We look forward to seeing the results!

Running this workshop in your class will hit Gatsby Benchmarks 5 & 7.

Contact us to find out more
i Edouard Manet (1832 - 1883), A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882, 96cm x 130cm, Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882

Reworking Manet: Live Project Brief

Reworking Manet is a live brief for state school students aged 14-18, asking participants to research, interrogate and create a personal response to Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882)....