Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Danseuses montant un escalier,1877 Huile sur toile, 39 x 89,5 cm Paris, musée d’Orsay, RF 1979 Photo © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

Degas at the Opera

Mar 1, 2020 - Jul 5, 2020

Edgar Degas’s renowned images of the Paris Opéra are among the most sophisticated and visually compelling works he ever created. Celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Opéra’s founding, Degas at the Opéra presents approximately 100 of the artist’s best-known and beloved works in a range of media, including paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and sculpture.

Over the course of his long career, he devoted his work to immortalizing the Paris Opera’s daily life, from stage to backstage, from rehearsal rooms to the foyer. The dance world presented infinite possibilities allowing all manner of experimentations: multiple points of view, contrasts of lighting, the study of motion and precision of movement. Degas’s work offers an accurate portrait of the Paris Opera in the 19th century.


The exhibition is curated by Degas expert Henri Loyrette with Kimberly A. Jones, curator of 19th-century French paintings, National Gallery of Art; Leïla Jarbouai, graphic arts curator, Musée d’Orsay; and Marine Kisiel, curator, Musée d’Orsay.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris.

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