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A Group of Dancers About 1898

Not on display

Degas excelled in depicting dancers in performance, rehearsal, waiting in the wings or, as here, at moments of ease. Characteristically, he chose an off-centre grouping with the dancers chatting in a corner of the rehearsal room. Part of a ballet skirt is reflected in the mirror behind. Degas often re-worked his designs and earlier pastels incorporate the same arrangement of figures. Here he worked with oil paint to establish the general outlines and reinforce certain details, blocked in colour with broad brush strokes and used his fingers, leaving fingerprints in the paint surface. He produced over 1500 images connected with the ballet.

Glossary Open


A drawing material made from ground pigment bound with enough gum or resin to hold it together in a stick, often smudged on paper to produce soft, atmospheric effects.



  • Acc. No. NG 2225
  • Medium Oil on paper laid on canvas
  • Size 46.00 x 61.20 cm (framed: 74.00 x 88.90 x 13.10 cm)
  • Credit Presented by Sir Alexander Maitland in memory of his wife Rosalind 1960