This volume represents the work that gives Manet his place in the history of art. A great artist who has suffered the hostility of the public and critics, but not of the artists who considered him a master, and who still remains unsettling because the present springs from that world that Manet unveiled. Known for his very important work on Goya, the revolutionary artist at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, Fred Licht focuses here on Manet, the most complex artist of the entire nineteenth century. For Licht "perhaps the greatest of the nineteenth-century artists who have reached ever greater power and depth of expression through their tireless effort to grasp the authentic meaning of contemporary life, putting the present in open conflict with the ideals of the past". Manet is a bourgeois but he is not an impressionist, despite having helped and defended the movement of which, however, he could not share the confident serenity and moral neutrality that made, and still does, impressionism the ideal style of a bourgeoisie that tries to avoid by all means the contradictions, traps and tragedies of modern existence. Manet did not seek scandal but revealed the reality of his class; thus Breakfast on the grass, Olympia and other paintings were works that aroused great stir.