From the 1860s, Édouard Manet was the acknowledged leader of French avant-garde painting. Although he never exhibited with the Impressionists, his colorful images of modern life - subject
matter that was unacceptable in the officially sanctioned world of traditional painting - provided a crucial example for the younger artists.
When Matisse spoke of Manet's impact on him, he said that Manet has simplified painting and had been "as direct as possible." He then went to to say, "A great painter is someone who finds personal and lasting signs that express in plastic terms the spirit of his vision... Manet is my favoriate master."
Matisse spoke of Manet at length in an interview with Teriade shortly before the large 1932 Manet centennial retrospective:
Manet is the first painter to have made an immediate translation of his sensations and thus given free rein to instinct, and he was the first to act through his reflexes and thus to simplify the painter's technique.