To see differently
Theatre and world behind the scenes replaced his studio: from there Edgar Degas drew inspiration and sought ideas for his future paintings. Ballerinas are the most recognizable subjects on the artist’s canvases. On the one hand, he was fascinated by ballet and the images that were created on the stage, on the other hand, he treated the heroines of his works quite ironically. The painter shows us ballet from a completely new point of view.
The devil’s in the details
Degas spent more than a year working on “Dance Class.” To finish it, he attended the lessons of Perrault, a legendary choreographer, who is depicted in the center. A game of contrast with ordinary faces and white dance tutus. Degas is one of the few authors who payed much attention not only to the heroes of his artworks, but also to the small details, which helped him fill the composition with some particular emotions.
In memory of
This painting and its version at the Orsay Museum in Paris are among the most ambitious Edgar’s paintings dedicated to the theme of dance. An imaginary stage is located in a rehearsal room at the old Paris Opera, which had recently completely burned down. On the wall next to the mirror is a poster of Rossini’s opera — Guillaume Tell — a tribute to the memory of singer Jean-Baptiste Faure, who commissioned the painting and presented it to the Impressionist exhibition in 1876.
’’Nothing in art must seem to be an accident, not even movement.’’ Edgar Degas