Edouard Manet, Déjeuner sur l'herbe, 1863.

Manet's Déjeuner sur l'herbe was the most talked about painting in the 1863 Salon des Refusés. A naked woman picnicking al fresco (outdoors) with two clothed men in a flatly painted landscape was disturbingly provocative. The composition is imbued with references to the Italian masters, yet the figures and setting suggest contemporary Paris. Manet's large, inscrutable canvas challenged the role of artistic prototypes. Return to the feature.

A decade earlier the Salon had rejected Manet's image of an outdoor picnic in which Victorine Meurent posed nude beside two clothed, male companions. Instead he exhibited at the adjacent Salon des Refusés, where the ironic placement of the figures shocked, but also amused the public.