“This exhibition examines one of the most significant artistic dialogues in modern art history: the close and sometimes tumultuous relationship between Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas. Born only two years apart, Manet (1832–1883) and Degas (1834–1917) were friends, rivals, and, at times, antagonists who worked to define modern painting in France. By examining their careers in parallel and presenting their work side by side, this exhibition investigates how their artistic objectives and approaches both overlapped and diverged.
Through more than 150 paintings and works on paper, Manet/Degas takes a fresh look at the interactions of these two artists in the context of the family relationships, friendships, and intellectual circles that influenced their artistic and professional choices, deepening our understanding of a key moment in nineteenth-century French painting.” — The Met
“Manet and Degas produced some of the most provocative and admired images in Western art,” said Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director. “Anchored by the unparalleled holdings of their work in the collections of The Met and the Musée d’Orsay, in addition to incredible loans from more than 50 other institutions and individual collectors, this exhibition offers a riveting new perspective on the storied pair of artists.”
Installation views of Manet/Degas, on view September 24, 2023–January 7, 2024 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photos by Anna-Marie Kellen, Courtesy of The Met.
Stephan Wolohojian, exhibition co-curator and the John Pope-Hennessy Curator in Charge of the Department of European Paintings, said, “While little written correspondence between Manet and Degas survives, their artistic output speaks volumes about how these major artists defined themselves with and against each other. This expansive dossier exhibition is a unique chance to assess their fascinating relationship through a dialogue between their work.”
Ashley Dunn, exhibition co-curator and Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints, added: “Works on paper are integral to their story as the two artists purportedly met in the Louvre, where Degas was working on an etching after a painting attributed to Velázquez, a work that Manet also copied. The exhibition presents an exciting opportunity to evaluate how Manet and Degas worked differently across media.”
Manet/Degas is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris.
Manet/Degas is co-curated by Stephan Wolohojian (John Pope-Hennessy Curator in Charge of the Department of European Paintings, The Met) and Ashley Dunn (Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Met), in collaboration with Laurence des Cars (President-Director, Musée du Louvre), Isolde Pludermacher (Chief Curator of Painting at the Musée d’Orsay), and Stéphane Guégan (Scientific Advisor to the President of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie).