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How to Read Paintings: Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe by Édouard Manet

A beguiling artwork thought to be the very first modern painting

Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863) by Édouard Manet. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Image source Wikimedia Commons

This painting shows a group of four people gathered together in a wooded grove. They are eating a picnic of fruit and bread among the dappled shade of the park. A small lake in the background has a rowing boat moored to its shore, indicating that…

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