History And Context

Dancers at the Bar exemplifies Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas’s ability, late in his career, to allow the expressive application of medium and color to overtake the rationality of subject and composition. The motif of a dancer with her leg propped up on a practice bar appears as early as the mid-1870’s and continues to around 1900. This work is one of the latest representations.

Phillips called the painting a “masterpiece (which) in its monumentality… is unique among all (Degas’s) decorations celebrating… dancers. (In its) daring record of instantaneous change at a split second of observation (he) miraculously… transformed the incident of swiftly seen shapes in time into a thrilling vision of dynamic forms in space.”

More Works by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas In the Collection

La Répétition au foyer de la danse
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
ca. 1870-ca. 1872
Dancers at the Barre
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
ca. 1900
Seated Violin Player
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Women Combing Their Hair
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
ca. 1878-ca. 1876
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
late 1860s
After the Bath
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
ca. 1895