Manet was a bridge artist between the earlier school of French realism and later French Impression, and we find can elements of both in this painting. Manet realistically renders a scene at an expensive French bar, but the smudging of the figures and faces seen reflected in the smudgy bar mirror anticipates Impression.
As for technique, the painting is famous for its use of the mirror as a technique to show what is out of the range of vision as we look at the painting. In the mirror we can see the back of the barmaid, and we can also make out the reflection of a man she is talking to. The perspective is unusual in that the man mirrored is only seen in reflection. Art critics have determined this is because where he is standing at the bar is outside of the frame of the painting.
Another technique is using bright spots of color to draw the viewer to certain parts of the painting, such as the clementines.
Manet also uses symmetry by placing the barmaid in the center of the painting. It was...
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