On January 29, 1832, Edouard Manet was born into a high-class family in Paris, France. His mother, Eugenie-Desiree Fournier, was the goddaughter of Charles Bernadotte, the Crown Prince of Sweden. Eduardo's father, Augusta Manet was a magistrate and an officer in the Ministry of Justice. To uphold the wealthy life style, Auguste Manet wanted Edouard to continue the tradition, and become a figure of the law as well. To avoid becoming a judge, Manet joined the navy and became a sailor. After traveling around he decided that being a sailor was not his passion so he apprenticed himself to the French Painter Thomas Couture. Throughout this time, he traveled to the countries of Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands to study paintings of masters. The artists that influenced him the most include Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Goya, and Frans Hals. .
Even though Manet was very well educated he did not excel in his academic career. Manet's uncle, Charles Fournier, gave him his first drawing lesson as a child. After that Manet was drawn to the arts. His uncle would also take Edouard and his friend, Antonin Proust on frequent outings to the Louvre. .
After studying with Tomas Couture, Manet enrolled and studied art at Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In most of his paintings, he depicted the scenes and subjects of the everyday life. But when he developed new techniques he began introducing unique and taboo themes into his paintings.
Manet began his career with The Absinthe Drinker (1858). The Spanish Guitar Player (1862) was the first of Manet's paintings to be accepted by the Salon. However, the painting, Spanish Guitar Player did not bring much of his fame, it was the painting Dejuner sur L"herbe which brought him recognition. He frequently submitted this painting to the Salon, and was turned down regularly. To counter the Salon, the Salon de Refuses was established and it was here that the painting Dejeuner sur L"herbe (1863) was exhibited.