Edouard Manet, a French artist, studied at École des Beaux-Arts from 1850 to 1856. Manet was considered to be a forerunner and source of inspiration for French Impressionism. Manet challenged the foundations of academic tradition in France and was considered controversial by the established art world, both in his painting and in his choice of subject. Favorite subjects for Manet included women who were or pretended to be prostitutes, which the bourgeois audience considered to be offensive. Manet was ridiculed because of this by both critics and the public.
In the 1870s, the Impressionists allowed themselves to be influenced by Manet's lack of interest in motifs, focusing instead on total artistic freedom in choice of color and nuance.
Manet's work is represented in art museums around the world, including Musee d'Orsay in Paris.