A Woman with No Clothes On won the Trafalgar prize for work in progress in 2005. In 1967 in a laboratory in the Louvre, a radiologist discovers a picture underneath Edouard Manet s Le déjeuner sur l herbe. The composition of the two pictures is the same, but the style is very different. Clearly, the canvas was painted over by someone other than Manet. Edouard Manet creates a scandal in the 19th century art world with his paintings Le déjeuner sur l'herbe and Olympia. In each of them, the naked model is an eighteen-year old Parisian Victorine Meurent. Critics ridicule the works, dismissing Victorine as a common prostitute. But, in a world utterly dominated by men, she harbours a secret ambition to become an artist. Victorine works in bars and tries to teach herself to paint. Throughout her sexual encounters, she retains a ruthless obsession with her ambition. The events of 1862 and 1863 are narrated by Manet and Victorine Meurent. The aristocratic Manet and the working class Victorine share a passion for art and a longing for success. Fuelled by jealousy, sexual tensions develop between them which are reflected in the painting Olympia. Main creates the characters and the atmosphere of 1860s Paris with a compelling simplicity that renders them authentic. Victorine s bitter struggle to emerge from her background contrasts sharply with the esoteric exchanges between Manet and his friend Baudelaire on the nature of modernism.