Exhibition : Degas, Danse, Dessin

To know about Degas :

French painter and sculptor, Degas (1834-1917) is known to be one of the most important representatives of Impressionism. His innovative compositions and movement particular analysis lift him above the others.

He studied at the famous Ecole des Beaux Arts and became a brilliant drawer which will always be specific to his art.

However, whereas his contemporaries where mostly interested about landscapes, Degas was more focusing his paintings on figures.

Fascinated by ballet, Degas has worked a lot about shows, considering them like the perfect exercise for drawing fast movement and spatial composition.

Going behind the scene, Degas will discover, through the dancers’ intimacy, and paint a very interesting and critical contrast between, on the one hand the magic of costumes and performances, and on the other hand, the dancers’ actual social situation.


Exhibition :

Orsay Museum presents you a 20-years-old friendship between a painter and a writer which was for both an engine for creativity. Referring to the book of Paul Valery Degas Danse Dessin, this exhibition offers the opportunity to have a new perspective on the famous painter through the eyes of his friend and famous poet.

Guided by the forgotten book of Paul Valéry, you discover the complementarity of both arts. You can see some quotes illustrating sculptures and paintings, drawings of Valéry’s writing hand by Degas, illustrations for the writer’s book, pictures, …


Travelling through Degas universe, you will have a look on a big variety of techniques and works such as nude sketches, drawings, studies, paintings, sculptures. …

This exhibition helps you understand step by step how from nude sketches, Degas interested himself to gesture, to finally explore the dance universe.

What is mostly interesting about his work is how he represents the posture. Indeed, the contrast between extreme precision of position and material brutality is a very impactful way to show the difference between the spectacle illusion and the dancers hidden situation.

About brutality, you can see on the drawings and paintings flaming color touches contrasting with cold colors. From color to material, the artist energy showcases movement and brings his paintings to life.

© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski Degas

© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski


Exhibition hosted at Musée d’Orsay and ends on february 25th, don’t miss it ! If you want a special experience with one of our specialist please click here to have more information.