In 1880, Edgar Degas is an expert at drawing dancers which made his friend Manet declare in 1868 that he was "the painter of dancers". He will later declare that the dancers were "an excuse to paint movement and pretty fabrics".
Mary Cassatt met Degas in 1874 and will be the closest artist of Degas who was a solitary person. He will say about her that they "feel alike" and he will invite her to join the impressionist exhibitions.
Their unlikely friendship based on their common passion lasted 40 years with ups and down since they had opposite positions on many political and social subjects.
Sources: Edgar Degas : drawings and pastels, Christopher Lloyd
Mary Cassatt: A Life, Nancy Mowll Mathews
Edgar's dancer, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)