Degas, Edgar: Ballet dancers

There are many great paintings to remind us that the artists of the Impressionist age were sensitively aware of contemporary life. Among the supreme masterpieces of the century are Degas's pictures of the ballet and its dancers. The impulse towards painting the contemporary scene came to him not only from Courbet and Manet but from his friend, the critic Duranty, the exponent of the aesthetics of naturalism. Yet in the particular direction of his tastes and his conception of design he was entirely individual. To study and convey movement was a chosen task, first undertaken on the race course and then in his many pictures of the Opera, viewed from behind the scenes, in the wings, or from the orchestra stalls during a performance.

Image Three Ballet Dancers, One with Dark Crimson Waist
1899 (170 Kb); Pastel on paper, 23 1/4 x 19 1/4 in; Barnes Foundation
Photograph by Charalambos Amvrosiou

Image Rehearsal of a Ballet on Stage

Image La danseuse aux chaussons

Image The Singer in Green
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Image Dance Class at the Opéra
1872; detail; Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Image La classe de danse (The Dancing class)
c. 1873-75 (140 Kb); Oil on canvas, 85 x 75 cm (33 1/2 x 29 1/2 in); Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Image The Rehearsal
c. 1873-78 (120 Kb); Oil on canvas, 41 x 61.7 cm (18 1/2 x 24 3/8 in); Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Image Ballet Rehearsal
1875; Gouache and Pastel on canvas, 21-3/4" x 27"; George G. Frelinghuysen Collection, N.Y.

Image Singer with a Glove
c. 1878 (110 Kb); Pastel and liquid medium on canvas, 52.8 x 41.1 cm (20 3/4 x 16 in); Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Image L'etoile [La danseuse sur la scene] (The Star [Dancer on Stage])
1878 (150 Kb); Pastel on paper, 60 x 44 cm (23 5/8 x 17 3/8 in); Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Image Danseuse assise
c. 1879-80 (130 Kb); "Seated Dancer"; Charcoal and pastel on paper mounted on pasteboard, 63.5 x 48.7 cm (25 x 19 1/8 in); The Hermitage, St. Petersburg; No. GR 155-99. Formerly collection Otto Krebs, Holzdorf

Image Three Dancers in Violet Tutues
c. 1895-98; Signed lower left; Pastel on paper, 73.5 x 48.9 cm; The Phillips Family Collection (L.1339); on display at the Art Institute of Chicago (Degas Exhibition, 1996)

Image Four Dancers
c. 1899 (150 Kb); Oil on canvas, 151.1 x 180.2 cm (59 1/2 x 71 in); National Gallery of Art, Washington

© 03 Aug 2002, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info
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