Friends, rivals, and at times antagonists, Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas maintained a pictorial dialogue throughout their lives as they both worked to define the painting of modern urban life. Manet/Degas, the first book to consider their careers in parallel, investigates how their objectives overlapped, diverged, and shaped each other’s artistic choices. Enlivened by archival correspondence and records of firsthand accounts, essays by American and French scholars take a fresh look at the artists’ family relationships, literary friendships, and interconnected social and intellectual circles in Paris; explore their complex depictions of race and class; discuss their political views in the context of wars in France and the United States; compare their artistic practices; and examine how Degas built his personal collection of works by Manet after his friend’s premature death. An illustrated biographical chronology charts their intersecting lives and careers. This lavishly illustrated, in-depth study offers an opportunity to reevaluate some of the most canonical French artworks of the nineteenth century, including Manet’s Olympia, Degas’s The Absinthe Drinker, and other masterworks.
Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press
(March 27–July 23, 2023)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
(September 24, 2023–January 7, 2024)