Degas’ Dancer Takes On New Life in an Exquisite Pastel

New York | 12 May

In late 19th century France, ballerinas were more than extraordinary dancers – they were the premier athletes of the period, performing feats of strength, flexibility and grace rarely before seen by European society. French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas found the ideal muse in these lithe dancers, documenting their angular and delicate forms in the wings of the Palais Garnier. Of Degas’ rich oeuvre, Danseuse, executed circa 1880–87, is one of the finest pastel works to come to market, formerly in the esteemed collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for nearly seven decades.

Head of New York’s Impressionist & Modern Evening Sales Julian Dawes discusses the magnitude of Danseuse, which will be a highlight of the marquee New York auction on 12 May.

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