May 1st 1865 is the opening of the Salon in Paris where Manet is showing Olympia, inspired by Venus of Urbin of Titien. It will both create a scandal for its realism and confirm Manet’s place among the leader of the avant garde and in art history.
Olympia depicts his model, muse and student, Victorine Meurent present in several other paintings of Manet and who will become a recognized painter herself.
Manet deeply suffered from the rejection of the majority of the critics Theophile Gautier being among them. Therefore the support of the famous writer and art critic Emile Zola was precious. Zola was the first to declare that Olympia belonged to the Louvre.
After Manet died, Claude Monet launched in 1889 a subscription campaign so that Olympia could indeed remain in France.
Manet: Portraying Life, 2012 by MaryAnne Stevens and Colin B. Bailey
Mademoiselle V. Journal d'une insouciante, Emmanuel Laurent, 2003
Edouard and Victorine, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)