The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 18, 2018

Frieze of Dancers, c. 1895

oil on fabric, Framed: 103 x 233.5 x 7 cm (40 1/2 x 91 7/8 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 70 x 200.5 cm (27 1/2 x 78 7/8 in.). Gift of the Hanna Fund 1946.83

This painting probably depicts a single dancer seen from four different viewpoints. The young woman is placed in an undefined setting, surrounded by mere wisps of color, applied so spontaneously that the paint ran and dripped. Degas even added the circles in the foreground with his thumb. Such audacity, while acceptable in a small sketch, must have shocked the artist's contemporaries when presented on a six-foot canvas. Equally radical is the idea of combining multiple views of a single figure, an approach that violated the traditional notion that a painting must represent a unity of time, place, and viewpoint. Degas's unusual presentation may have been inspired by the work of British photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)

Signed in lower right: Degas

Paris, Orangerie des Tuileries. Degas (1937), no. 40, Danseuses attachant leurs sandales, ca. 1882, Max Liebermann collection, Berlin. Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum. Honderd Jaar Fransche Kunst (1938), no. 106, ca. 1882. CMA. Paintings in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Picture Book No. 3. Works By Edgar Degas (1947), no. 40 (repr.). New York, Century Association. Trends in European Painting (1949), no. 2, ca. 1883 (repr.). Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie. De David à Toulouse-Lautrec: Chefs d'oeuvres des Collections Américaines (1955), no. 22, ca. 1883, pl. 56. New York, Paul Rosenberg & Co. A Loan Exhibition of 19th and 20th Century French Paintings-Masterpieces Recalled (1957), 23, no. 14, ca. 1883. New York, Wildenstein. Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings: Masterpieces, A Memorial Exhibition for Adele R. Levy (1961), no. 37, ca. 1883 (repr.). CMA. Creativity in Art and Science, 1860-1960 (1987), no. 6, ca. 1883 (repr.). London, National Gallery; Art Institute of Chicago. Degas Beyond Impressionism (1996-97), 27, 47, 51, 112, 118-19, 122, 128, 167, 171, 186-87, fig. 131, 194-95 (repr.), 298 (no. 16), ca. 1893-98 (only shown in Chicago). Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; February 15 - May 16, 2004. "Time Stands Still: Muybridge and the Instantaneous Photography Movement". Not in exh. cat. Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; February 20 - May 29, 2005. "Masterworks from The Phillips Collection". Not in exh. cat. CMA (organizer). Cleveland Museum of Art, Oct. 21, 2007- January 13, 2008: "Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art" Museum of Modern Art, New York (3/22/2016 - 7/24/2016): "Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty "

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Library materials about Degas (242)

Detail Views