Life and Times
Manet refused to follow his father's wish to choose a career in law. Instead he spent 6 years practising and developing his painting. He visited all the major museums in Europe, studying and copying many masterpieces.
By 1861 Manet had his first success when a sombre portrait of his parents was accepted for exhibition by the Paris Salon.
Two years later Manet submitted a work very different to his first success, Déjeuner sur l'herbe. The picture caused a storm of scandal, thanks to its provocative and erotic themes, and was refused by the Salon.
Manet's next painting to court controversy was Olympia. In this picture the nude model confronts the viewer with her eyes, instead of looking down demurely - which, at this time, was sensational. Manet valued this painting so highly, that he kept it until his death.
Through the mid part of his life, Manet befriended and influenced many artists, including Degas, Monet, Renoir and Cezanne.
In 1882, Manet presented his last major work to the Salon, Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère.