Dance

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Edgar Degas

A Group of Dancers
1898

Degas familiarised himself with the practice of classical ballet through his representations of dancers in class and at rehearsal. As well as attending formal performances, he gained access to other areas behind the scenes at the Paris Opera.

These figures show Degas's skill at capturing the elegance and strength particular to ballerinas. Their discipline lingers in the postures and feet positioning as they stand, seemingly at ease, within this studio setting. The free and decorative application of paint creates complexity within the image, capturing a sense of the mystery surrounding this closed world. The placing of the figures off-centre opens up the surrounding space and the large mirror on the wall helps to make sense of the interior.

  • Credits Presented by Sir Alexander Maitland in memory of his wife Rosalind 1960
  • Medium Oil on paper laid on canvas
  • Size 46.00 x 61.20 cm (framed: 74.00 x 88.90 x 13.10 cm)

Paris Opera

The Palais Garnier, was the principal home of the Paris Opera and Ballet companies from its opening in 1875, until the Opera moved to a new building in the Bastille district of Paris in 1989.