Edouard Manet's controversial painting 'Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe' is one of the best-known images in French art. The subject of critical analysis for more than a century, it still defies singular interpretation. This book offers six different readings of the painting. Based on new ideas about its context, production, meaning, and reception, these essays, written specially for this volume by the leading scholars of French modern art, incorporate close examinations of its radical style and novel subject, relevant historical developments and archival material, as well as biographical evidence that prompts psychological inquiries. Shedding new light on the artist and the touchstone work of modernism, this title also introduces readers to current methodologies in art history and to the multiple ways that this complex painting can be framed.