Edouard Manet, a French painter and graphic artist, was born into an upper middle-class family. His style was based on the Old Masters at the Louvre, particularly Velzaquez and Ribera. He studied the works of Dutch artist, Frans Hals in Holland in 1872, who taught him to liberate his brushstrokes and paint with more energy and verve. It was through the use of these techniques that Manet became one of the founders of the Impressionism.
One of Manet's most significant works is ""Luncheon on the Grass,"" which depicts a nude model in the presence of two men. This piece offended the critics and was condemned when shown in 1863. The Salon, one of the most influential galleries in Paris at the time, refused to exhibit the work, but it was subsequently shown in the Salon des Refuges, set up specifically for rejected paintings.
Many of the young Impressionists of the time followed Manet's lead and broke away from the traditional artistic styles of the past. This trend eventually served as the basis for modern art. Manet is considered to be a senior figure among Impressionist artists and was a respected member of the group which included Monet, Renoir, Bazille, Sisley and Cezanne.
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