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Dancers at the BarEnlarge image

Dancers at the Bar, c. 1900

Edgar Degas
French, 1834 - 1917
charcoal and pastel on tracing paper, laid down on cardboard
111.2 x 95.6 cm
Purchased 1921
National Gallery of Canada (no. 1826)

Degas chose the uncomfortable pose of stretched arms and legs to empha-size the energy required for this exercise at the bar. The repeated strokes of charcoal give weight to the contours of the dancers' bodies. Degas worked delicately with pastel to create the diaphanous tutus and to suggest the light reflected in the room. He made several drawings of these two dancers, posed exactly as in the pastel, as well as an oil painting, now in The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

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