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Lunch on the grass
Edouard Manet. 1863
The Lunch on the Grass was rejected by the Academy in the year 1863 and was exhibited in the so-called "Hall of the Rejected", which was created by Napoléon III to exhibit the works that were not accepted by the official jury. The work of Manet became the main attraction of "the rejected" and generated a great scandal, to present a rather strange situation, where a naked woman accompanied by two gentlemen, perfectly dressed in the style of the time, looks at us from direct way
It is difficult to imagine that this painting could cause such a stir, but at the time it did so and not only for showing a nude in a totally contemporary context, but also for pictorial technique. The subtlety in the use of color and the degradés were the trend at that time. Manet changes them for a greater contrast, strong lights and shadows, more vivid colors and less defined figures, which could be defined as sketched. Even the perspective and depth in the picture are unusual, for example, the woman who bathes in the river is of a size that does not seem adequate. Manet does not respect the canons established intentionally, so it generates a new era of freedom in artistic expression.
Manet's inspiration for this painting responds to a reinterpretation of the classics, as with Olympia. The theme is inspired by Titian's Concierto Campestre and uses Raphael's Judgment of Paris for the central arrangement of the figures, even the way in which the man in a hat rests reminds us of the Adam of the Creation of the World in the Sistine Chapel of Miguel Angel.