Degas - The Rehearsal

Edgar Degas
The Rehearsal, c. 1874.
Oil on canvas, 58.4 x 83.8 cm.
Lent by Culture and Sport Glasgow on behalf of Glasgow City Council.
Gifted by Sir William and Lady Constance Burrell to Glasgow, 1944.
Image © Culture and Sport Glasgow (Museums)

Degas - Ballet Scene from Meyerbeer’s Opera ‘Robert le Diable’

Edgar Degas
Ballet Scene from Meyerbeer’s Opera ‘Robert le Diable’, 1876.
Oil on canvas, 76.6 x 81.3 cm.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Image © V&A Images / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement

Edgar Degas’s preoccupation with movement is the main focus of this exhibition that traces the development of the artist’s ballet imagery throughout his career. At the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 17 September – 11 December 2011

Source: Royal Academy of Arts /

Born in Paris in 1834, Edgar Degas is often regarded as one of the founders and leaders of Impressionism, although he considered himself a realist, claiming that "no art was ever less spontaneous than mine". Throughout his career, Degas showed a great interest in the depiction of movement, which is evident in his famous ballet scenes

"Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement" features around 85 paintings, sculptures, drawings, pastels, prints and photographs by Edgar Degas, coming from public and private collections in Europe and North America.

The Royal Academy explains that this exhibition is the first "to present Degas’s progressive engagement with the figure in movement in the context of parallel advances in photography and early film". The exhibition includes photographs by his contemporaries and examples of early film.

Highlights of the exhibition include "Dancers in a Rehearsal Room with a Double Bass" (c. 1882-85), lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art; "Three Dancers", a mature work on loan from the Beyeler Foundation in Basel; and his famous sculpture "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1880-81, cast. c.1922), coming from the Tate, London.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in which Richard Kendall and Jill DeVonyar explore the main themes of this exhibition.

Related content

Degas: Drawings and Sketchbooks at The Morgan Library & Museum (exhibition, 2010 - 2011)

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