Dancers

Dancers

1896

Edgar Degas

(French, 1834-1917)

Pastel

Sheet: 55.2 x 41 cm (21 3/4 x 16 1/8 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1043

Catalogue raisonné: Lemoisne 1249

Location

Did you know?

Degas joined six separate irregularly shaped sheets of paper to make this work, and their connections are faintly visible on its surface.

Description

Degas depicted the ballet in more than 1,000 paintings, prints, pastels, and sculptures. He preferred private, offstage moments to glamorous curtain calls or artfully constructed compositions. Here, three dancers stretch together in the wings, unaware of the viewer’s presence. Powdery layers of yellow, orange, and pink pastel create a rough surface characteristic of Degas’s late work in the medium. He invented special techniques that allowed him to build layer upon layer of color with varying degrees of opacity and transparency. This pastel’s rich surface and intense, vibrating palette is the result of such innovative methods.

See also
Collection: 
DR - French
Department: 
Drawings
Type of artwork: 
Drawing
Medium: 
Pastel

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