"A"rt Corner : Déjeuner sur l'herbe - Edouard Manet


The déjeuner sur l'herbe is one of the most famous paintings of Edouard Manet.
Painted between 1862 ans 1863 it was exposed in the same year at the Salon des Refusées after being refused from the Paris’ offical Salon.The painting shows two women and two men having breakfast in a park in Argenteuil. What attracts the observer’s attenction and created the big scandal was the way the two girls were dressed: they were naked and seem not to be ashame of it.The woman in the foreground looks at the potential observer in a challengin way, the same challenge that Manet wanted to launch to the jury which would have disapproved for sure his painting.The one of Manet is a new peinture, between Naturalism and Impressionism. The use of colors is not left to chance: Manet uses complementary colors.The tonal perspective and the firm brushstroke give great depth and expressivity.It’s almost unknown that the painting was used by Emile Zola in one of his famous novel “Thérèse Raquin” to describe the scene of peace before the murder of Camile, one of the main characters of the novel

The fallen leaves covered the ground with a russety bed which cracked beneath their feet with sharp, quivering sounds. Innumerable trunks of trees rose up erect, like clusters of small gothic columns; the branches descended to the foreheads of the three holiday makers, whose only view was the expiring copper-like foliage, and the black and white stems of the aspens and oaks. They were in the wilderness, in a melancholy corner, in a narrow clearing that was silent and fresh. All around them they heard the murmur of the Seine.  
(Thérèse Raquin, Chapter XI)

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