Olympia is one of the most valuable artworks of the Musée d'Orsay.
She caused a massive scandal when first shown in 1865 and is now considered a pillar of modern art.
Manet is pastiching a portrait of Venus by famous Renaissance artist Titian - but replaces the goddess with a prostitute.
The subject shocked the audience.
While it was acceptable to represent naked women at the time as symbols (like Virtue) or goddesses (like Venus), it wasn't acceptable to represent naked women closer to home.
Most people would have recognised the model for who she was.
Courtesans (prostitutes for very wealthy of influential clients) were extremely famous in 19th century Paris - they appeared on postcards, owned vast properties...
One, Cora Pearl, was even rumored to have charged a million for a night in her company!