Art history took a serious turn at the beginning of the 19th century with the advent of modern art. Some of the era's most pivotal paintings and their artists include "Olympia" by Edouard Manet, "Water Lillies" by Claude Monet and "Still Life with Apples and Peaches" by Paul Cezanne.
The 19th century brought the art world into an uproar. Prior to 1820, art was about mythology, religion and history. Artists built paintings from sketches and dozens of layers of paint to be as realistic as possible. This all changed with the evolution of Impressionism. Among others, Edouard Manet began to paint the mundane, or everyday life. Far from other classical paintings of the time, Manet challenged the paintings of idealized royal women with his "Olympia" by showcasing a modern-day harlot.
Further challenging the definition of art, Manet inspired artists such as Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Paul Cezanne to question whether art should aim for realistic depiction, how to use color and pigment, and what subjects were acceptable to paint. The end of the 19th century saw great painters such as Gustav Klimt, known for "The Kiss," and Henri Mattisse, the painter of "Woman with a Hat." These artists paved the way for the 20th century to take off with the famous Pablo Picasso.