Degas at the Opera
From 24 September 2019 to 19 January 2020
For the 350th anniversary of the Paris Opera, works by Edgar Degas return to the Musée d'Orsay from 24 September 2019 to 19 January 2020 with ‘Degas at the Opera’. Co-organized with the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, this exhibition features various paintings, drawings, sculptures and pastels by the artist, including iconic works such as The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, Foyer de la Danse or La Loge and is the first to deal with the Opera house as an entire pictorial subject.
As early as 1860, Degas made the Opera the central focus of his works, his ‘own room’ as his friend the poet Mallarmé used to say. He became passionate about the little dancers he painted during their training sessions, but also about the spectators, singers and musicians of the orchestra of the Paris Opera, whether they be on stage, in the audience or behind the scenes ... The opera inspired his creativity leading him to all kinds of artistic experimentation: playing with lighting, framing and painting from different points of view. His modern eye, influenced by photography, made his paintings excellent illustrations of life under the Second Empire.
Degas at the Opera is a wonderful portrait of the Opera in Paris in the 19th century through the works of one of the most important French Impressionist painters of his generation.
Musée d'Orsay, art in the Western world from 1848 to 1914
The Musée d’Orsay is renowned for being one of the most beautiful museums in the world and having one of the richest collections. Situated on the left bank of the Seine opposite the Tuileries Gardens, it has not always been a museum. Built by Victor Laloux for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, the building was initially a railway station before being transformed into a museum in 1986.
The permanent collections of this multidisciplinary museum are devoted to the art of the Western world – painting, sculpture, decorative arts, graphic arts, architecture, and photography – from 1848 to 1914; that is a total of 6,000 works of which only 3,000 are on show to the public at any one time.
Major works include: Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe by Edouard Manet, La classe de danse by Edgar Degas, Des glaneuses by Jean-François Millet, the Bal du moulin de la Galette by Auguste Renoir, the series of Cathédrales de Rouen by Claude Monet, the Cirque by Georges Seurat, Les joueurs de carte by Paul Cézanne, Les femmes de Tahiti by Paul Gauguin, Portrait de l'artiste by Vincent van Gogh ... The Museum has one of the largest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works in the world.
In addition to the permanent collections, numerous events are held throughout the year: temporary exhibitions, concerts, lectures, seminars, shows ...