Before the Performance by Edgar Degas ceramic mug
Ceramic mug featuring a beautiful detail of Before the Performance by Edgar Degas, part of the National Galleries of Scotland collection.
A group of dancers are on stage preparing themselves for the impending performance: they practise their positions and one ballerina stoops to tie her shoe.
The dancers are not individuals, but faceless memories of a scene he had once observed. The vivid colours are vibrant and unrealistic, evoking the surreal effects produced by the gas lights of the theatre.
Pools of shadow on the large expanse of stage are also rather abstract, and it is clear that by the late 1890s, His treatment of the oil paint is very delicate, almost as if it were gouache.
Edgar Degas (19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917) was a French Impressionist artist famous for his pastel drawings and oil paintings.