Frieze of Dancers

Frieze of Dancers

c. 1895

Edgar Degas

(French, 1834-1917)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 103 x 233.5 x 7 cm (40 9/16 x 91 15/16 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 70 x 200.5 cm (27 9/16 x 78 15/16 in.)

Gift of the Hanna Fund 1946.83

Fun Fact

The ballet is a subject Degas returned to again and again over the course of his career. Rather than public performances, he often depicted dancers behind the curtain, practicing, waiting, or, as in this painting, lacing up their shoes.

Description

This painting may depict 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. Degas's unusual presentation may have been inspired by the photographs of Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)

Video

Edgar Degas
Palette of Pastels
Artistic Expression
Les Petits Rats
Rhythmic Movement
See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.