Study for ‘La La at the Cirque Fernando’ (1879) by Edgar Degas

Study for 'La La at the Cirque Fernando' - Edgar Degas - 1879

Artwork Information

TitleStudy for 'La La at the Cirque Fernando'
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationTate Britain, London, UK

About Study for 'La La at the Cirque Fernando'

The artwork titled “Study for ‘La La at the Cirque Fernando’” was created by the artist Edgar Degas in the year 1879. This piece is executed in pastel, embodying the Impressionistic style that characterizes Degas’s oeuvre. It is categorized as a sketch and study and is currently housed at Tate Britain in London, the United Kingdom.

The artwork renders a scene of a female acrobat, possibly mid-performance, captured with the vigorous and spontaneous strokes that are typical of a study. The figure is depicted with her back to the viewer, arms extended upwards and one leg balancing her weight while the other leg is stretched out and to the side, suggesting a dynamic pose in a moment of action or dance. The palette features a harmonious blend of warm and cool hues, with the flesh tones and lilac costume contrasting against the more subdued background tones, thereby emphasizing the movement of the performer. The use of pastels allows for both soft gradations of color and the portrayal of vivid details, which is a hallmark of Degas’s approach to depicting figures in motion. The composition, with its focus on the physical expression of the acrobat, is emblematic of Degas’s interest in the movement and form of the human body, particularly in the context of dance and performance.

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