Edgar Degas, “Dance Examination,” 1880, pastel on paper, 24 1/2 x 18 inches, Denver Art Museum

More than 100 masterworks consisting of paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes, and sculptures in bronze by this prolific French Impressionist head to the galleries of this renowned institution in February. Mark your calendars!

“A Passion for Perfection” is a major exhibition focusing on the most prominent and recurring themes throughout Edgar Degas’ 60-year career. As suggested above, the exhibition will be composed for many artworks, more than 100 in total. The exhibition opens on February 11 at the Denver Art Museum and will continue through May 20. Among the themes explored will be Degas’ interest in learning from the art of the past and from that of his contemporaries, his lifelong fascination with the nude, his passion for horses, and his strong interest in opera and dance.

Edgar Degas, “Dancer with Bouquets,” circa 1895, oil on canvas, 71 x 60 inches, Chrysler Museum of Art
Edgar Degas, “Fourth Position Front, on the Left Leg,” cast 1921, wax modeled circa 1885, copper alloy, The Fitzwilliam Museum
Edgar Degas, “Dancers,” circa 1900, pastel and charcoal on tracing paper, 37 5/8 x 26 3/4 inches, University of Rochester
Edgar Degas, “Woman Scratching Her Back,” 1881, pastel on paper, 15 7/8 x 16 1/4 inches, Denver Art Museum
Edgar Degas, “Four Ballet Dancers on Stage,” circa 1885, oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 36 1/4 inches, Museu de Arte de São Paulo

According to the DAM, “Well-known masterpieces will be on view, and the exhibition also will dive deeper into Degas’ obsession with repetition of subjects throughout his entire artistic journey. Visitors will see his transformation from a portraitist and painter of historical subjects to one interested in the contemporary life of late-nineteenth-century Paris. By experimenting constantly throughout his career he developed techniques that allowed him to capture modern subject matter through sharp and precise lighting, such as café concerts, street scenes with new electric lighting, sporting events, and theatrical settings. He considered his work in all media a constant continuum. Works by J.A.D. Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, and Paul Cézanne also will be shown, adding depth to the exhibition’s narrative.”

To learn more, visit the Denver Art Museum.

This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.


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