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The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas
The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas

The Orchestra of the Opera - Edgar Degas

When he painted this picture, Edgard Degas knew the Paris Opera well. But one would be mistaken if one thought that this painting was a realistic representation of the orchestra of the Paris Opera in 1870. In addition to the fact that several of the figures in the painting were not instrumentalists, Degas, in order to emphasize his friend, the bassoonist Désiré Dihau, has placed him in the front row, whereas the bassoon was usually placed behind the cellos and double basses. This change was as deliberate as the highly original framing of the painting, which shows the orchestra at an angle and only the dancers' legs and tutus.

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L'œuvre en bref

When he painted this picture, Edgard Degas knew the Paris Opera well. But one would be mistaken if one thought that this painting was a realistic representation of the orchestra of the Paris Opera in 1870. In addition to the fact that several of the figures in the painting were not instrumentalists, Degas, in order to emphasize his friend, the bassoonist Désiré Dihau, has placed him in the front row, whereas the bassoon was usually placed behind the cellos and double basses. This change was as deliberate as the highly original framing of the painting, which shows the orchestra at an angle and only the dancers' legs and tutus.

The artist

Born in Paris into a wealthy bourgeois family, Edgar Degas (1834-1917) quickly abandoned his law studies. An avid visitor to the Louvre Museum, he showed an exceptional aptitude for drawing by copying artists such as Rembrandt. Living on the family fortune and not seeking financial gain for his art, he studied painting in 1855 in the studio of Louis Lamothe, a student of Ingres. The artistic legacy of Ingres fascinated Degas and inspired him throughout his life. Considered an impressionist, Degas claimed to be a realist. However, he participated in several Impressionist exhibitions from 1874 to 1886. In the early 1870s, Degas suffered from progressive blindness. Blinded by the sunlight, he will paint almost only interior scenes, with artificial lighting, unlike the impressionists of his time.
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