The Luncheon on the Grass/Le Bain after Hiroshige/Manet

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It was 150 years ago that Edouard Manet stirred up the French art scene with his The Luncheon on the Grass/Le Bain. It was detachment of the female nude from historical or mythical allegories that shocked confused critics. Heresy and blasphemy of the tradition cherished with fake ideals, that only a man with strong will and political connections, or great fortune, can enjoy a picture of women nudes in safety of their homes, still, covered with religious, mythical or historical allegories. And Manet dared to show his work publicly.

At same time France was flooded with Ukiyo-e, artists were collecting shunga prints in their private collections, trying to understand sexual freedom that made them.

And here I am 150 years later trying to understand what happened, how we remained intolerant and aggressive toward sexual diversity. A naked woman from Manet´s painting is silently judging us.