Shock of the New: The scandalous and innovative works of Edouard Manet

Why were policemen hired to protect Manet’s painting ‘Olympia’ from being attacked?

The work was greeted with shock and disgust when it was exhibited at the 1865 Salon of Paris: ’Such indecency!’, ‘It recalls the horror of the morgue!’, ‘dirty hands and wrinkled feet!’.

Instead of painting an idealised view of feminine beauty, Manet depicted a realistic and provocative French courtesan.

He rebelled against all the ‘rules’ and sent shockwaves through the Paris art world. What Manet didn’t realise was that his scandalous painting would mark the start of Modern Art.

This talk considers Manet’s most celebrated works including ‘Olympia’, ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe’ and ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’. It looks at how his paintings of ‘truth’ changed the entire course of Art History.