MANET, Edouard
(b. 1832, Paris, d. 1883, Paris)

Luncheon on the Grass (Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe)

Oil on canvas, 208 x 265 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

The outcry provoked by this painting was greater than anything previously provoked by Courbet. Manet was surely echoing Courbet's Young Ladies by the River Seine in presenting his prostitute with two dandies. The rowboat in the background and the fine still-life of discarded garments and picnic things both refer to Courbet's painting. However, Manet was careful to pay tribute to the art of the past: the idea of combining nude and dressed figures he borrowed from Giorgione's (or probably Titian's) Pastoral Concert, and the poses are in part taken from an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi based on the Judgment of Paris by Raphael.

Manet had friends sit for him in modern dress, and the seated nude is Victorine Meurent, a favourite model of his for the past year.

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