Édouard Manet was a man-about-town in 19th century Paris. At ease among the grande bourgeoisie, a friend of Zola and Baudelaire, his interest turned gradually from painting history to painting to scenes of city life. He longed to be recognized, but works like Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia gave rise only to scandal. Moreover, his provocative snapshots of everyday life struck viewers of the day as only half-finished - a quality appealing to artists who would later be known as Impressionists. This film by Didier Baussy-Oulianoff tells of this eventful period in the evolution of art, and of the important role that Manet played in it.