The Bar (painting)

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The Bar
John Brack - The Bar.jpg
Artist John Brack
Year 1954
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 96.4 cm × 140.0 cm (38.0 in × 55.1 in)
Location National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

The Bar is a 1954 painting by Australian artist John Brack. The subject of the painting is a direct reference to Édouard Manet's 1882 work A Bar at the Folies-Bergère.[1] It depicts a barmaid working in an Australian pub at the time of the "six o'clock swill". As in Manet's work, the patrons of the bar are shown in a reflection behind the barmaid. The work is considered a companion piece to Brack's later work Collins St., 5 pm.[2]

The painting was first sold to a Melbourne art collector for 90 guineas in 1954.[1] In 2006, the painting sold for $3.12m, a then record for an Australian work of art at auction.[1] The National Gallery of Victoria acquired the painting in 2009.[2]

The painting is part of the National Gallery of Victoria's Australian art collection and exhibited in the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square in Melbourne.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Record price for painting, bar none". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. 12 April 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Gallery buys The Bar". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  3. ^ National Gallery Victoria Acquisition 2009