Lunch on the Grass is one of the most famous paintings by the French artist Édouard Manet, created in the year 1863. The work represents two men and a naked woman, in a forest clearing, enjoying a picnic lunch.
The interesting thing about this painting is that in its time it caused great controversy and scandal due to the realistic representation of a naked woman in the presence of two dressed men. This work broke with the aesthetic and social conventions of the time and was considered immoral and indecent by many critics and viewers.
Another interesting fact is that Manet was inspired by classic works of the Italian Renaissance, such as "The Tempest" by Giorgione and "The Last Judgment" by Michelangelo, to create this work. Unlike the classical works, however, Manet presented his characters in a contemporary setting and in a more realistic and stark manner, which was an innovation in the art of his time.
Ultimately, the painting was rejected from the Paris Salon, the leading art exhibition of the day, prompting Manet and other artists to found their own alternative exhibition, known as the Salon of the Rejected. This event was a milestone in the history of art and contributed to the creation of avant-garde artistic movements such as impressionism.
Lunch on the Grass is a testament to Manet's refusal to conform to convention and his initiation of a new freedom from traditional themes and modes of representation. This painting can perhaps be considered as the starting point for modern art.
Lunch on the Grass is ranked no. 95 on the list of famous paintings