Seated Dancer (1881 – 1883) by Edgar Degas

Seated Dancer - Edgar Degas - 1881 - 1883

Artwork Information

TitleSeated Dancer
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1881 - 1883
Dimensions62 x 49 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMusée d'Orsay, Paris, France

About Seated Dancer

The artwork “Seated Dancer,” created by Edgar Degas between 1881 and 1883, is a pastel on paper piece recognized for its affiliation with the Impressionism movement. Occupying dimensions of 62 cm by 49 cm, this genre painting is part of the collection at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France. It offers a compelling glimpse into the world of dance, a subject Degas frequently explored with a discerning and innovative eye.

The artwork depicts a young dancer seated, resting between rehearsals or performances, capturing a moment of quiet introspection or fatigue. The dancer’s attire, a voluminous tutu accented with a blue bow, along with ballet slippers, indicate her profession. Her posture—slightly hunched with her head tilted downwards—suggests a moment of repose or deep thought, a break from the rigorous demands of her discipline. Degas’ skill in rendering the textures of the tutu and the soft yet vibrant play of light and shadow demonstrate the techniques emblematic of the Impressionism era. The pastel medium has allowed for delicate and nuanced color gradations, fitting for the ethereal subject matter. The artwork overall is a study in the balance of movement and stillness, a theme Degas masterfully conveys in his examination of dancers.

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