Edgar Degas (1834 -1917), Danseuses montant un escalier, Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais (musée d'Orsay) / Stéphane Maréchalle

Degas Dance Drawing. A Tribute to Degas with Paul Valéry

In commemoration of Edgar Degas’ death centennial, the Musée d’Orsay pays tribute to the artist with an exhibition based on a little known book by the writer, poet and thinker, Paul Valéry (1871-1945).
Degas and Valéry’s long lasting friendship resulted in an essay published by Editions Vollard in 1937: Degas, Dance Drawing. Both intimate and universal, it conveys a poetic, fragmentary image of the painter’s personality and art, but also a meditation on the creative process.

The exhibition associates selected excerpts of Valéry’s essay with the graphic works, paintings and sculptures of Degas. The resonance between text and images offers an insight into the artist’s fondness for the world of dance and horse racing, which Valéry links to his own search for line and movement.

Marine Kisiel, Curator of Painting, Musée d’Orsay
Leila Jarbouai, Curator of Drawings, Musée d’Orsay


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