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Happiest Moments in Life

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Le dĂ©jeuner sur L’herbe Le dĂ©jeuner sur l’herbe, also called The Luncheon on the grass, an oil on canvas painting, 208cm x 265.5 cm (81.9 in x 104.5 in), created by the French painter called Èdouard Manet in 1863. Rejected by the jury of the 1863 salon, Manet exhibited it under the title Le Bain (The Bath) at the Salon des RefusĂ©s (initiated the same year by the napoleon III). The painting now is located in the (MusĂ©e d’Orsay). This painting was famous and controversial during that period. To know more clearly, as we move on I am going to describe an analysis it, firstly about its influence, why Manet painted it, how he was inspired and how did he inspired other artists. Primarily, the scene of the painting is that there are dense leaves, some dark tree trunks and a chemise-wearing women bathing in a river in the background; in the large foreground, two young men who were dressed like young dandies and seated across from a second women who is nude. The nude woman is Manet’s favorite model, Victorine Meurent, casually lunching with two fully dressed men, Manet’s brother Gustave Manet and his future brother-in-law, Ferdinand Leenhoff, in a rural setting, which depicts the juxtaposition.

The nude woman’s body is starkly lit and she stares directly at the viewer. She seems to be exited by the water and dries her naked skin in the open air. The men seem to be engaged in conversation, ignoring the nude woman. In front of them, the woman’s light blue clothes, a basket of fruits, and a round loft of bread and displayed, which are in a still life. For the lightly clad woman, Manet’s wife, Suzanne Leenhoff, bathing in a river in the light delicate background, she seems to pick something from the river. Moreover, she is unusually large in comparison with the figures in the foreground, which seems she is floating above them. Secondly, there are few techniques used in the painting. The roughly painted background lacks depth, which seems though the scene is not taking place outdoors. Meanwhile, the man on the right wears a flat hat with a tassel, which is normally worn indoors. In addition, it shows “photographic lighting,” which does not cast much shadow and also eliminates mid-tone colors.

Therefore the lighting of the scene is inconsistent and unnatural. Furthermore, Manet painted it for several reasons, which are now much reveled in books or the historical collections, but some of the clues describe this point. Although Manet has been seen as a founder of impressionism, he is actually more of a Realist. Rebelling against his established family, he started painting, from the beginning he wanted to free art from interesting parochialism. When he complained that ‘we have been perverted by the recipes of painting (Bolton, 200). Although it shocked the French public about not being a realist painting in the social or political sense of Daumier, it is a statement in favor of the artist’s individual freedom. Moreover, he wanted to depict his scents of mythological, religious or historical importance. Manet blatantly ignored this tradition by using a large canvas (NBMAA). Further, the painting was an affront to morality. Manet brought back the shock of sex that the original would have has by making the naked women a prostituted in a brothel, ready for business and looking us directly in the eye.

He broke the shackles of moral, religious and historical allusions, ‘’as well as the formulas of three dimensionality in search of reality’’(Bolton, 200). Also, it depicts the rampant prostitution that occurred in the Bois de Boulogne, a large park at the western outskirts of Paris, at the time. This prostitution was common knowledge in Paris, but was considered a taboo subject unsuitable for a painting (Art Architecture: MusĂ©e D’Orsay). Indeed, the Bois de Boulogne is to this day know as a pick- up place for prostitutes and illicit sexual activity after dark, just as it has been in the 19th century. After that, this painting is inspired by other great artist ‘ works. For example, the ‘Judgment of Paris’, painted by Raphael, who shows “three river gods positioned in the bottom right corner of the engraving”? Manet used this very same position for his three sitters (NBMAA, New Britain Museum Of American Art). Further more, two additional works that are cited by scholars, as important precedents for Le dĂ©jeuner sur L’herbe are pastoral concert and The Tempest, both of which are attributed variously to Italian Renaissance masters Giorgione or Titan (Manet’s Le DĂ©jeuner sur l’herbe). The Tempest is an enigmatic painting that features a fully dressed man and a nude woman in a rural setting. The man is standing to the left and gazing to the side, apparently at the women, who is seated and is breastfeeding a baby (Rewald).

In pastoral concert, two clothed men and a nude woman are seated on the grass, playing the musical instruments, while a second nude woman is standing beside them. Finally, the painting has inspired other great artists. Claude Monet was impressed by the picture may be gauged from the fact in 1865 he decided to paint his own DĂ©jeuner sur L’herbe, through simply as a group of picnickers without the “elements of dress and undress and in more natural attitudes that the figure in Manet’s composition (NBMAA)”. Meanwhile, Manet’s painting inspired Picasso to a cycle of 27 paintings, 140 drawings, 3 linogravures and cardboard Marquette’s for the sculpture carried out between 1949 by Jean Renoir, the photo in 1974 by Jonathan Charles and the cover of the Bow Wow Wow LP See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Young Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy and the EP called The Last Of the Mohicans, which caused additional controversy since the naked girl (lead single Annabelle Lwin) was only 14 at that time.

In conclusion, the nude woman in the Le DĂ©jeuner sur l’herbe sparked public notoriety and controversy as it showed prostitution that was an offensive subject at that time. However, Manet successfully showed his favor in individual freedom from his work, and this remarkable painting has inspired other great artists such as Monet and Picasso. It is undoubtedly predictable that this painting is significant and influential in art history.

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