"I paint what I see, and not what others like to see."
The paintings of Šdouard Manet celebrate both high and low society.Ý Rejected by the Paris Salon in 1863, his painting Dejeuner sur l'herbe was shown later that year at the infamous Salon des Refuse, and depicts a naked woman ñ a prostitute in fact ñ seated with two clad men, staring brazenly at the viewer. Although inspired by a Renaissance masterpiece, the painting provoked such a fierce response from the public that it had to be hung above the reach of fanatics wanting to destroy it.
The photographic lighting of his paintings, their snapshot quality, and roughly-painted style strongly influenced the Impressionists. Although he was friends with Renoir, Monet, Cassatt and others in the movement, and even supported them financially, Manet never considered himself an Impressionist nor exhibited with them. He continually sought, and received, recognition in the official Salon, even though he painted scenes from the bohemian lifestyle, beggars, dancers and prostitutes.
Manet died in 1883, two years after being inducted into the French Legion of Honor.