Rehearsal (1879) by Edgar Degas

Rehearsal - Edgar Degas - 1879

Artwork Information

ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions46 x 61 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationFrick Collection, New York City, NY, US

About Rehearsal

“Rehearsal” is an artwork by Edgar Degas, created in 1879, demonstrating the artist’s fascination with the world of ballet. This piece, executed in oil on canvas, measures 46 x 61 cm and is a fine example of genre painting within the Impressionist movement. The artwork is part of the collection of the Frick Collection in New York City, NY, USA.

The artwork captures a casual moment during a ballet rehearsal. At the forefront, a seated violinist is seen in profile, deeply focused on his music, his bow poised above the strings of his violin. The musician’s presence anchors the composition, setting a tone of disciplined artistry that is echoed in the background activities. Behind him, dancers clad in traditional ballet attire are practicing their craft. With their delicate tutus, they add a sense of lightness and grace to the scene, contrasted against the more somber, contemplative mood of the violinist. The brushwork is loose, imparting an immediacy and vibrancy that is characteristic of Degas’s style and the Impressionist movement.

The light filters in through tall windows, casting long, angled shadows and illuminating the dancers in a soft, diffused manner. The color palette is fairly muted, punctuated by the warm tones of the wooden floor and the soft whites of the dancers’ costumes. One gets the sense of interrupted motion and the everyday dedication behind the elegant performances that the public normally sees. This piece captures not only the physical space of the rehearsal room but also the emotional and psychological space of the artist and his subjects—the merging of artistic disciplines in a moment frozen in time.

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