The Entrance of the Masked Dancers (c.1879 – c.1882) by Edgar Degas

The Entrance of the Masked Dancers - Edgar Degas - c.1879 - c.1882

Artwork Information

TitleThe Entrance of the Masked Dancers
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1879 - c.1882
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationClark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, US

About The Entrance of the Masked Dancers

“The Entrance of the Masked Dancers” is an Impressionist genre painting by Edgar Degas, created with pastel between circa 1879 and 1882. The artwork is part of the collection of the Clark Art Institute located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. Degas is renowned for his works that often depict scenes from the world of dance.

In this pastel, Edgar Degas portrays dancers preparing for a performance. This particular scene centers on two female figures in the foreground, both dancers, captured in informal and candid moments. The dancer to the left is adorned in a soft green dress and is looking downwards, with her body angled away from the viewer as if she’s moving into the scene. The dancer on the right, in a salmon pink dress, has an expressive pose with her hand gently touching her neck, tilted head, and a gaze that seems to be directed off-canvas, suggesting a moment of introspection or pause.

Behind these two central figures, there are hints of other dancers in yellow and white, giving the sensation of movement and depth, evoking the busy atmosphere of a backstage area. Degas’s use of pastel allows for vibrant color contrasts and a sense of immediacy, capturing the fleeting nature of the scene with quick, gestural strokes. The composition skirts the line between a spontaneous snapshot of life and a carefully arranged tableau, a hallmark of Degas’s approach to art that often explored the dynamic of movement and the poise of dancers.

Other Artwork from Edgar Degas

More Impressionism Artwork

Scroll to Top