Born in 1832 in Paris, France, Edouard Manet is considered a principal artist in the transition to impressionism from realism. Unfortunately, he was the son of a judge who was not supportive of his desire to create art and tried to make him give up his dream by joining the Navy. However, Manet could never pass the naval exams and his parents had no choose but to accept his love of art. He studied under Thomas Couture for more than six years and often went to the Louvre to copy the works of past painters before beginning to paint his own creations.
The Absinthe Drinker (1859) was one of his first realism attempts, but he quickly adopted a looser style with broad brushstrokes. Most of his work featured everyday people he encountered including beggars, gypsies, singers, and more, as well as café scenes. For example, his painting “Concert in the Tuileries Gardens” or Music in the Tuileries (1862) was completed on an easel set out in the middle of the city. His most well-known painting, The Luncheon on the Grass (1863) was considered indecent because it featured a nude female among two dressed men. In 1874, his paintings were featured at the first exhibit of impressionists. At the time of his death in 1883, he left behind 420 paintings.