An authoritative work on Edouard Manet, viewed by many as the father of modern painting. Few artists have created as much controversy as Manet: his avant-garde work not only challenged the traditions of art, but also addressed society as a whole. With his painting Olympia (1869), he was to become, to quote Degas, "as famous as Garibaldi." Yet how the diffident son of a bourgeois family became the father of both realism and impressionism is a complex story that has too often been overlooked. As Manet has rightly become recognized as a touchstone for historical change, his personal story has become all the more relevant to the study of art history. This lavishly illustrated volume, presented in a handsome slipcase, offers a comprehensive study of the great master.