Miss Lola, Au Cirque Fernando is a painting created by French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas in 1879. The painting was first exhibited at the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition in Paris in the same year and is now part of the National Gallery collection in London. Degas was inspired to create the artwork by Miss La La, a famous mixed-race circus performer known for her impressive feats of strength.
Miss La La’s most famous act involved being suspended by her teeth while being hoisted up to the roof of the circus by a rope on a pulley. Degas produced a number of studies of Miss La La and the circus building before creating the painting. The finished artwork showcases Miss La La in mid-performance, her muscular arms and legs taut as she is suspended in mid-air.
In Miss Lola, Au Cirque Fernando, Degas captures the beauty and strength of Miss La La’s performance while also shining a light on the hard work and dedication required to succeed in the circus industry. The painting is a perfect example of Degas’ skill as an Impressionist artist, with its vibrant colors and bold brushstrokes capturing the energy and excitement of the circus.