Edgar Degas French

Not on view

In this pastel, Degas directed his focus to the dancer’s foreshadowed arm, drawn on a diagonal from the lowered hand to the head. He reworked the placement of both the hand, as is clearly indicated, and the head, apparently masking these changes with the dark green shading at left. Degas often used this pose, which appears in several more finished pictures, for scenes with a ballerina clutching a bouquet of flowers or taking a final bow. The model here is distinctive; as she is older and not a generic type, scholars have suggested that perhaps she and the artist were friends.

Dancer, Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris), Pastel on paper, laid down on board

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