Dancer at the Barre (c.1880) by Edgar Degas

Dancer at the Barre - Edgar Degas - c.1880

Artwork Information

TitleDancer at the Barre
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationShelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT, US

About Dancer at the Barre

The artwork “Dancer at the Barre” by Edgar Degas, created around 1880, is a genre painting executed in pastel, reflecting the Impressionist movement. Currently, it is housed at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, United States.

In this evocative piece, Degas portrays a young ballet dancer standing at the barre. The dancer’s pose is one of rest or preparation, as she gently leans her arms on the barre with her head bowed slightly downwards, suggesting a moment of introspection or concentration. The lightness and translucency of the pastel medium are employed masterfully to capture the airy material of the dancer’s tutu, while the soft, diffused strokes create a sense of movement and immediacy that are characteristic of the Impressionist style. The artwork’s color palette is dominantly composed of warm tones, with the wall in the background bathed in a golden hue that contrasts with the cool tones of the dancer’s dress. Degas’s rendering of the figure reflects his keen interest in the human form and his ability to convey grace and elegance, making “Dancer at the Barre” a remarkable example of genre painting from the Impressionist era.

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