Five Interesting Facts about The Dance Lesson by Edgar Degas

Five Interesting Facts about The Dance Lesson by Edgar Degas

June 21, 2018

We continue to look at the stories behind the famous paintings that inspired the McIntosh Mugs.  Let's find out some amazing facts about Degas' The Dance Lesson.

5 Amazing Facts - Edgar Degas The Dance Lesson

Peter here from McIntosh Mugs.  Edgar Degas’ The Dance Lesson is an intriguing Impressionist painting that is much more than it seems on first glance!  Check out these amazing facts behind this famous masterpiece from 1879.

1. Edgar Degas was born in Paris, France in 1834.  Degas became known as one of the founders of Impressionism but interestingly rejected the movement, and was actually one of its vocal critics, considering himself a realist.

2. Degas studied the masters, working at the Louvre at young age he was able to replicate famous paintings and on his later journey to Italy, he was able to study and reproduce artwork by Davinci and Rafael.  This study of the early Masters led to his own mastery as a skilled artist.

3. Degas is known for his paintings of Ballet Dancers such as in the Dance Lesson, a subject he returned to over and over again.  He would regularly visit the Paris Opera House to observe dancers and go backstage, in order to accurately capture their effort.  Degas made more than 1,000 paintings of dancers throughout his life.

4. Degas was influenced by Japanese prints and this is reflected in the Dance Lesson,  Notice how the large expanse of floor appears to tilt upwards while figures are deliberately placed off-centre or are cut off at unexpected angles.

5. The Dancers in the Dance Lesson to the left are exhausted, with the Dancer in the orange shawl sitting on a double bass.  The Dancer in the pink shawl sits in a chair for a break, while the dancers to the far right continue practising their moves in the light of the large window.

Thank you for listening to these amazing facts about Edgar Degas’ The Dance Lesson.  Visit our website www.mcintoshmugs.com to see the Fine Bone China Tea Mug inspired by this masterpiece.  Plus, let us know in the comments what you think of this remarkable painting.

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