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Many art historians consider Edouard Manet to be the father of modern art. Although often cited alongside the Impressionists, he was not a member of their group and never exhibited in their Salon des Réfusées. Instead, he pioneered a path between realism and impressionism, choosing contemporary subjects and composing them in a truly modern fashion. A number of Manet’s paintings provoked outrage and scandal, but his most controversial work was Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass ), which showed a naked woman enjoying a picnic beside two fully and conventionally, if rather exotically, dressed men. Today it is hard to appreciate the shock it caused, but at the time the painting became a real cause célèbre. Manet became one of the first artists to make the common man (and woman) the theme of his work. His preferred subjects were compositions of people enjoying their leisure time in the parks, cafés, and amusement centers around Paris. Many of Manet’s works are almost photographic in their composition and use of light. As a result, these works had a distinctly modern look for their era, unnerving critics and alarming contemporary audiences while inspiring the admiration of young, upcoming artists.