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The painting was exhibited for the first time in the famous Salon of the Outcast, which was opened May 15, 1863 in Paris by Emperor Napoleon III, who wished to be known as the defender of freedom and creativity. Then the jury rejected many of the works of artists not allowed to participate in the exhibition. Eduard Manet offered Salon of the Outcast for dessert his Breakfast on the Grass, which caused a storm of emotions, fierce criticism and a unanimous sentence that this “breakfast” was absolutely “inedible”.
The public was especially outraged by the fact that decently dressed, shod, men with ties and canes gathered in a forest glade, next to whom naked female bodies glow. The name of the picture takes on some piquant meaning, especially since nothing edible is really depicted. The left corner of the foreground contains a faint hint of food, but it is clearly visible that a half-empty basket with several mushrooms is lying on a piece of cloth, possibly someone’s dress, and several berries are visible on green leaves nearby. That's the whole breakfast.
Two fairly young men spread out freely on the grass, talking animatedly about something. The one on the right, gesturing, tells something interesting, fun, because the interlocutor smiles sweetly. An embarrassed smile also shines on the face of the woman sitting next to him. Under it is a crumpled light blue fabric, the woman herself is sitting in a free easy pose, completely naked, not too young, a little overweight.
The couple sitting next to each other have the same hair color, they are the same age as their spouse. The second woman in a light, free, white shirt can be seen a little further, but she can hear the conversation, it can be seen from her that she listens and also smiles. The picture is full of light calm, warm bliss. Zola called the canvas solid flesh, modeled by the streams of light simply, truthfully and shrewdly.
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