Dancers on Set (1878 – 1880) by Edgar Degas

Dancers on Set - Edgar Degas - 1878 - 1880

Artwork Information

TitleDancers on Set
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1878 - 1880
Dimensions37.9 x 27 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Dancers on Set

“Dancers on Set,” created by Edgar Degas between 1878 and 1880, is a pastel work falling within the Impressionism art movement. The genre painting measures 37.9 x 27 cm and currently belongs to a private collection. The artwork depicts the light, color, and movement which are characteristic of Degas’s studies of dancers.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with a scene of dancers likely rehearsing or in a moment of rest on the set. Two figures are discernible, with the foreground dominated by a dancer in a classic ballet pose. Her attire, a voluminous tutu adorned with glints of floral ornamentation, captures the essence of a dancer’s costume with a suggestion of softness and texture that is expertly rendered through pastel. The dancer’s face is oriented towards the viewer, her expression one of concentration or perhaps momentary repose. Another figure in the background appears more ethereal and less defined, imbuing the scene with a sense of depth and continuity of the performers’ environment. The use of color and light, with the contrast between the distinct figure in the foreground and the more blurred figure in the background, demonstrates Degas’s masterful use of pastel to convey atmosphere and the transient nature of the dancers’ movements.

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