Artistic Frenemies…

Recently, I headed off to the brand new Manet/Degas exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I am an admirer of both artists.

This exhibition examines the close and sometimes tumultuous relationship between Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas.

Manet and Degas were Paris natives, born into wealthy haute-bourgeois families. Both veered from familial expectations in becoming artists. They shunned conventional art training and invented their own modern style of art.

Manet was an extrovert and more politically progressive while Degas was an introvert and politically conservative.

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, the exhibition investigates how their artistic objectives and approaches both overlapped and diverged.

The museum was packed on a rainy Saturday afternoon many there to view the exhibition of 160 oil paintings, prints, pastels and drawings by these two renown artists.

The rooms were narrow and difficult to navigate clear viewing with all the visitors milling about.

The dark purple walls and low lighting were not conducive for displaying the artwork.

I did not find the exhibit that captivating, although it is always fabulous to view these timeless masterpieces.

The following are the highlights:

It is always interesting to see these extraordinary works of art up close.

The exhibition debuted earlier this year at the Musee D’Orsay in Paris.

I also perused additional galleries, exploring the Asian wing and ended at the always impressive Egyptian section.

The Manet/Degas exhibit is worth a drive by. Try to go early on the weekend or during the week.

Manet/Degas Exhibit Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue New York City. Exhibit on through January 7th, 2024.

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