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Edgar Degas
French, 1834 - 1917

Dancer, Seen from Behind (Danseuse vue de dos), ca. 1878-1881
French Drawing
Black chalk and pastel on faded blue laid paper, laid down to two more sheets
19 3/16 x 11 11/16 in. (48.7 x 29.7 cm), sheet

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. James H. Lockhart, Jr.,  87.65

Not currently on view  

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About the Object

Often called "the painter of modern life," Edgar Degas filled his canvases with images from the vibrant world of performance and spectacle in the clubs and theaters of Paris during the latter part of the 1800s. Ballet dancers appealed to Degas as a pictorial subject for two key reasons: they represented modern subjects, and they offered female bodies that could be naturally observed in a host of complicated poses. Drawing from innumerable studies, he created light-filled images that represent the essence of natural movement.

Dancer, Seen from Behind  is a study for a figure in the far right of Dancers in the Rehearsal Room, with a Double Bass, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

[Label copy from Monet: Vision and Process exhibition, 2018]