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Edgar Deags

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Seated Dancer, ca. 1871
Oil paint thinned with turpentine, over graphite, on pink paper
Stamped at lower left corner, Degas
10 15/16 x 8 11/16 inches ) 279 x 222 mm)
Thaw Collection; EVT 46
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Using dark washes of thinned oil paint to throw the figure into relief, Degas expertly retained the paper's tone to highlight the dancer's back. This sheet is one of five surviving studies related to the artist's 1872 canvas Dance Class at the Opéra on the Rue le Peletier (Musée d'Orsay, Paris). Typical of Degas' dynamic working method, the figure does not exactly correspond to the final painting, in which her face is seen in full profile and her torso is turned toward the left.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.