The Dancing Class

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The Dancing Class
ArtistEdgar Degas
Yearabout 1870
Typeoil painting
Dimensions19.7 cm × 27 cm (7.8 in × 11 in)
LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

The Dancing Class is an oil painting by Edgar Degas painted about 1870. It was the first of his ballet pictures. It depicts a dance class at the Paris Opéra. When he painted this picture, Degas did not yet have privileges to go backstage at the Opéra. In the late 1870s, Degas said, "I have done [painted] so many of these dance examinations without having seen them that I am a little ashamed of it."

Joséphine Gaujelin (or Gozelin) is the dancer in the center of the picture. She waits for the starting note from the ballet master. The watering can (to wet down the rosin on the floor), the top hat as music holder, and the empty violin case are props that Degas would continue to use in his ballet pictures. Degas would re-use the poses in this picture many times.

References[change | change source]

  • The Dancing Class, Metropolitan Museum, retrieved 23 January 2013