On Stage (c.1879 – c.1881) by Edgar Degas

On Stage - Edgar Degas - c.1879 - c.1881

Artwork Information

TitleOn Stage
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1879 - c.1881
Dimensions58.5 x 44.8 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About On Stage

The artwork titled “On Stage,” created by Edgar Degas circa 1879 to 1881, is an exquisite example of Impressionist genre painting. Rendered in pastel on paper, the piece measures 58.5 by 44.8 centimeters and is currently held in a private collection. Degas’s skill in capturing the dynamic essence of the performing arts is evident in this work, which is emblematic of the Impressionist movement’s focus on depicting scenes of contemporary life with a vibrant immediacy.

In the artwork, a ballet dancer is portrayed in mid-performance. She stands prominently in the foreground, her body slightly turned as she balances on one foot, the other extended behind her. The young dancer’s costume, a tutu of delicate yellow tones, is realized with deft strokes that convey both softness and volume. Her face, adorned with a discerning smile, turns engagingly towards the viewer. Accessories, such as a choker and floral headpiece, add to the realism of her attire. The background echoes with movement and hue, showcasing a group of dancers in soft blue tutus, each captured in various stages of dance. Degas’s mastery of pastels imbues the scene with both a sense of immediacy and a dreamlike atmosphere. The brushstrokes, varying in intensity and direction, evoke the lively ambiance of a stage performance, highlighting the artist’s fascination with the world of dance.

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