Dancers at the Barre (c.1900 – c.1905) by Edgar Degas

Dancers at the Barre - Edgar Degas - c.1900 - c.1905

Artwork Information

TitleDancers at the Barre
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1900 - c.1905
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPhilips Collection, Washington, DC, US

About Dancers at the Barre

“Dancers at the Barre” is an oil on canvas painting by Edgar Degas, created approximately between 1900 and 1905. The piece exemplifies the Impressionist movement, a genre painting that captures a scene from everyday life. The artwork is currently housed in the Phillips Collection, located in Washington, DC, United States.

The painting portrays two ballet dancers at the barre. The dancers are depicted in a candid state, mid-practice. Their bodies are turned away from the viewer, emphasizing the movement and contours of their backs and limbs. The dancer on the left is standing in profile with her hand resting lightly on the barre, while the one on the right is leaning forward, with her right leg stretched back resting on the barre, likely stretching her muscles.

Degas’s masterful use of color and light is evident in the warm, luminous background, which starkly contrasts with the cool tones of the dancers’ tutus. The vividness and variety of brushstrokes create an impression of texture and movement. The artist’s attention to the human form and his ability to capture the grace of the dancers’ bodies are central to this work. The dancers exhibit a sense of concentration and dedication to their craft, typical of Degas’s many studies of ballerinas.

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