Happy Birthday, Édouard Manet

You are cordially invited to a celebration for Édouard Manet; we will meet at noon for a Luncheon on the Grass—or, at least we would if it were year 1863, when the artist painted his iconic, and largely controversial, “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe”. While Manet’s painting was an immediate outrage to French society for depicting a contemporary, nude female among fully clothed men, it was not only her nudity that caused the stir; nude figures had been pictured in classic mythological and allegorical paintings for centuries.  It was Manet’s bold, purposefully controversial intentions that ignited the scandal, and began discussions of what constitutes modern art. 182 years after his birth, Manet is now praised by many as the Father of Modernism.