It is a fact that most of the impressionist painters loved to paint landscapes. On the other hand, Edgar Degas was a painter who loved bringing to canvas the theater shows, café activities, and similar things. Though he was called an Impressionist artist, he did not accept it himself and loved to be called as a Realist. One can observe that most of his artworks are related to dancers.
Musée d’Orsay houses around 111 paintings, sculptures, and drawings of Edgar Degas. This is a very big collection and is must-see works for those who love artworks.
Here are some of the top artworks of Edgar Degas, you will find on your Orsay tour.
La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans
This is the famous statue that Degas made and exhibited in the Impressionist Exhibition held in 1881. After the death of Degas, around 150 sculptures made of wax and clay were discovered in his studio. He never exhibited any of them during his lifetime.
It is a wax sculpture of a teenage dancer named Marie van Goethem. The figure is dressed in the attire for dance. This includes ballet slippers, tutu, bodice, a real hair wig, etc. Only the hair ribbon and the tutu are left uncovered with wax.
Though everyone adores the sculpture today, when it was first exhibited, it faced very strong criticisms. Presently, the sculpture can be found in room 31 of Musée d’Orsay.
This painting shows how much Edgar loved the dance movements of ballet dancers. The picture depicts the graceful movements of some ballerinas. He did this painting during the time in which his eyesight was declining. Though he was keener to work on sculptures during his end days, he did not go back in his love for studying about dancers and their movements.
La Classe de Danse
This painting depicts a dance class at the windup time. A real-life ballet master Jules Perrot has featured in this painting along with some of his students whose stature depicts their tiredness and exhaustion after the long practice. The natural expressions of the dancers are captured excellently in the painting. Even the dance floor is depicted in a very beautiful way, which is not so common with the painters of his time.
Absinthe was a spirit with high alcohol content and was banned at the time of the First World War. The painting shows a man and woman who are drunk and are in a hallucination state. The painting was so realistic, and Degas was compelled to make a public statement that they were just models and not alcoholics in real life.
Get a view of these artworks on your Orsay museum tours.