The Rehearsal (c. 1873-78) by Edgar Degas

The Rehearsal - Edgar Degas - c.1873 - c.1878

Artwork Information

TitleThe Rehearsal
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1873 - c.1878
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions45.7 x 60 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationFogg Museum (Harvard Art Museums), Cambridge, MA, US

About The Rehearsal

“The Rehearsal” is an oil on canvas artwork by Edgar Degas, created in the period circa 1873 to 1878. This piece exemplifies the Impressionist movement, and as a genre painting, it presents a scene from everyday life, specifically a dance rehearsal. The work measures 45.7 by 60 centimeters and is currently housed at the Fogg Museum, which is part of the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.

The artwork portrays a group of ballet dancers in a rehearsal space with large windows that fill the room with natural light. The dancers are dressed in white ballet costumes with tutus and are in various poses indicative of a practice session, with some in mid-dance and others adjusting their attire or resting. To the left of the composition, a figure, likely the ballet master or musician, is seated and appears to be playing a stringed instrument, perhaps providing the music for the rehearsal. The use of light and shadow, as well as the brushwork, captures the essence of the Impressionist style, which is known for its depiction of light and focus on moments in time. The spatial arrangement of the figures and the perspective of the room draw the viewer’s gaze across the composition, giving a sense of depth and movement.

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