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Dancers at the Barre

Collection item 0479
  • Period Nineteenth-Century
  • Materials Oil on canvas
  • Object Number 0479
  • Dimensions 51 1/4 x 38 1/2 in.; 130.175 x 97.79 cm.; framed: 58 3/8 in x 46 in x 3 in; 148.27 cm x 116.84 cm x 7.62 cm
  • Credit Line Acquired 1944

Dancers at the Barre 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.”

Dancers at the Barre

Degas’s Dancer’s at the Barre: Point and Counterpoint explores Dancer’s at the Barre

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