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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

The Luncheon on the Grass

Manet

1863

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Like Olympia, the Luncheon on the Grass is one of the most famous paintings of the Musée d’Orsay.

It's considered a pillar of modern art - and still unnerves people today.

In this painting, Manet is also drawing inspiration from a famous artwork of the Renaissance - this time by artist Raphael.

Again, he's replacing a goddess with a naked courtesan - something which the public would have immediately picked up on.

The woman’s nakedness has no mythological or allegorical reason to be here - the only acceptable reason to represent a naked women at the time.

Like with Olympia, Manet's style also deeply shocked the audience - with its jarring colours, apparent brushstrokes and skewing of perspective.

The public hated it.

But others loved it - Picasso alone painted more than 150 versions of it!

The painting still unnerves viewers today.

But, like Olympia, the woman's gaze is provocative and unapologetic - almost daring you to keep staring!

La Joconde, de Vinci (1519)

Next:

Dance at the Moulin de la Galette

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