Description:Jean-Louis Forain found inspiration in Parisian cafés and the sometimes-provocative interactions that took place within them. At the Café, a watercolor completed in 1879, the same year Forain first exhibited with the Impressionists, displays the spontaneity and social satire for which the artist would become known. Forain focuses on the woman in the center of the composition, standing tall amidst the noisy chatter and leering men in top hats. Her crisp white chapeau and spotted blue dress contrast with the red walls and sea of black around her. She is a modern Parisian woman, independent, bold, and willing to enter a realm of dubious masculine intent without escort.
Provenance: Museum purchase with funds provided by Brenda and Lester Crain, Hyde Family Foundations, Irene and Joe Orgill and the Rose Family Foundation