Édouard Manet (UKˈmæneɪ, USmæˈneɪ,_məˈ-; edwaʁ manɛ; 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French modernist painter. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, as well as a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.
Born into an upper-class household with strong political connections, Manet rejected the naval career originally envisioned for him; he became engrossed in the world of painting. His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) or Olympia, "premiering" in 1863 and '65, respectively, caused great controversy with both critics and the Academy of Fine Arts, but soon were praised by progressive artists as the breakthrough acts to the new style, Impressionism. Today too, these works, along with others, are considered watershed paintings that mark the start of modern art. The last 20 years of Manet's life saw him form bonds with other great artists of the time; he developed his own simple and direct sty