Great art is also made up of friendship, happy, stormy and enlivened by competitiveness. And friendship is the main theme of this large exhibition scheduled for this Spring at the Musée d’Orsay. We’re speaking of ties that, between ups and downs, united two great stars of Impressionism for a lifetime. One was a loner, taciturn, reserved; the other was extroverted, social, brilliant - Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet were different in everything but without their meeting, modern painting probably would not have been the same. In this project put together by the Musée d’Orsay with the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York and the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, the complicity and rivalry between the two artists emerge from a dialogue between their respective paintings, but also from little-known stories which offer a new perspective on their relationship. Moving from artistic affinity to the affairs of collectionism, from personal tastes to the social lives of this odd couple, the exhibition seeks out the essence of the rapport between the two, highlighting the consequences on the artistic level. What emerges is painting nourished by comparision and contrast, made up of a “marvelous coexistence” and dissonant chords as poet Paul Valery wrote when speaking of Manet and Degas.