There are four sections in the IELTS exam, one of them being the reading section. The time provided is one hour. The reading section consists of three passages and 40 questions in total. The style of passages is of various kinds, such as argumentative, narrative, or descriptive.

‘A Bar at the Folies’ is a passage from the IELTS reading section. It is the description of a very famous painting, ‘A bar at the Folies’. The passage has 13 questions in total. Read the summarized version of the passage, before going through the answers.Also, go through the information regarding the IELTS reading course so that you can perform extremely well in the exam. The best IELTS training online will potentially drive the correct way to answer in the exam.

A Bar at the Folies – Reading Answers Paragraph A of IELTS Exam

‘A Bar at the Folies’ is one of the most critically famed paintings of Edouard Manet, created in the 19th-century Modernist movement. The Courtauld Gallery in London presently owns it, and is quite the crowd-favourite.

A Bar at the Folies – Reading Answers Paragraph B of IELTS Exam

The painting depicts a Parisian nightclub of the nineteenth century late at night. Behind the bar, a barmaid is standing wearing a fitted black bodice. The bodice has a white frilly neckline with a spray of flowers sitting across her decolletage. Her hands are at rest on the bar table, and she is gazing miserably at the viewers. Her eyes are just below the viewer, which is not quite lacking eye contact. On the bar are some bottles of liquor and a bowl of oranges. In the mirror, which is behind the barmaid, you can see the activities taking place. Through this mirror, an auditorium is seen with blurred images and faces—men in top hats, a woman examining the scene below her through binoculars, another in long gloves, and even a trapeze artist’s feet, showing stunts above his crowds. In the forepart of the reflection, a barmaid is talking to a man with a thick moustache.

A Bar at the Folies- Reading Answers Paragraph C of IELTS Exam

Manet’s principal subject was the barmaid who worked there, and the Folies was an actual establishment in late 19th century Paris. Still, he did not recapture every detail of the bar in his presentation. The painting was primarily completed in a private studio belonging to the painter, where the barmaid was posed with several bottles. Later, the painting was completed with quick sketches the artist made at the Folies itself.

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A Bar at the Folies – Reading Answers Paragraph D of IELTS Exam

Even though the Manet was not bothered to pay attention to the details, the relationship between the unreflected foreground and the activity reflected in the mirror is baffling! Unlike Diego Velazquez’s much earlier work ‘Las Meninas’, Manet uses the mirror to play with our ideas about which details are accurate to life and which are not. For example, in the foreground, the barmaid is standing upright. Her face shows an expression of lonely detachment. Yet, if seen in the mirrored reflection, she is leaning forward and to the side, apparently engaging in conversation with her moustachioed customer. Due to this, the customer’s posture is also altered. It should be hard to see him as the barmaid is standing in the mirror, yet Manet managed to re-positioned him to the side. This has an impact of dreamlike disconnection between reality and illusion on the viewer.

A Bar at the Folies -Reading Answers Paragraph E of IELTS Exam

Why would Manet engage in the act of causing the viewer to accept something as true or valid, even when it is false or invalid? Maybe because he wanted to depict the two different states of mind and emotion. He wanted to convey how the modern workplace works from his perspective, where he sees workers felt torn from their ‘true’ selves and forced to assume an artificial working identity. You can see a barmaid working and serving the customer in the mirrored reflection. At the same time, the barmaid in the front view has an expression of hopelessness and aloneness.

A Bar at the Folies – Reading Answers Paragraph F of IELTS Exam

From the day of its launch at the Paris salon of 1882, art historians have argued about the posture of the patron and barmaid. Some theatre artists have also presented Manet’s distorted perspective in stages. Manet wanted to show the real human story behind it. A person who is not an expert will not understand the details of the paintings, but a scholar is highly drawn to the compositional detail of the painting.

Questions 1 – 5

Which paragraph includes the following information?

#1 An elaboration of how Manet created the painting

#2 Features of the painting that scholars are most interested in

#3 The writer’s conception of the idea that Manet wants to communicate

#4 Examples to show why the bar scene is not the reality

#5 A explanation about the popularity of the painting

Questions 6 – 10

Write the answers in not more than three words. Write your answers in the blank space given for questions 6 – 10.

#6 Name the first owner of A Bar at the Folies?

#7 What dress is the barmaid wearing?

#8 What kind of room is seen at the back of the painting?

#9 Who is entertaining the audience?

#10 In which place did most of the work on the painting occur?

Questions 11 – 13

Match the correct sentences for questions 11 to 13 from options A to F.

#11 Manet misrepresents the likeness of images in the mirror because he

#12 Manet felt modern workers were detached from the work because they

#13 Academics have re-built the painting in real life because they


  1. wanted to find out if the painting’s viewpoint was realistic
  2. felt they had to work harder at boring and difficult jobs
  3. wanted to understand the lives of normal people at the time
  4. felt like they had to become someone else
  5. wanted to control and manipulate our sense of reality
  6. wanted to concentrate on the detail in the painting

IELTS Reading Answers ‘A Bar at the Folies’

We would highly suggest you, before going through the answers, try to solve it by yourself.

Question 1 to 5

#1 C

#2 F

#3 E

#4 D

#5 A

Question 6 to 10

#6 Emmanuel Chabrier

#7 A black bodice

#8 An auditorium

#9 A trapeze artist

#10 Manet’s private studio

Questions 11 to 13

#11 E

#12 D

#13 A

Click here to read the full passage.

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We hope that these answers helped you in clearing your doubts. For more doubt clarification, go through our IELTS Ninja courses and you’ll get hundreds of practise questions along with their answers! We have mentored thousands of students to achieve their dream band of the IELTS exam.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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