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George T. M. Shackelford
An artist basically urban in outlook, perhaps the most Parisian of all the impressionists, Edgar Degas is here represented by the most Parisian of his subjects, the dancers of the Opera ballet. The exhibition offers a survey of Degas’s works on this theme, while at the same time providing a remarkable opportunity to investigate the complex relationships among the many drawings of dancers and the paintings, pastels, and sculpture with which they are here grouped. There are approximately 1,500 paintings, pastels, prints, and drawings of dancers in Degas’s oeuvre. This catalog, with only 58 of these works, has two goals: to survey the range of Degas’s treatments of ballet subjects from the late 1860s until the end of his working life sometime after 1900, and to reevaluate Degas’s working methods.