Dancers at the Barre exemplifies Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas’s ability, late in his career, to allow the expressive application of medium and color to overtake the rationality of subject and composition. The motif of a dancer with her leg propped up on a practice bar appears as early as the mid-1870’s and continues to around 1900. This work is one of the latest representations. Museum founder Duncan Phillips called the painting a “masterpiece (which) in its monumentality… is unique among all (Degas’s) decorations celebrating… dancers. (In its) daring record of instantaneous change at a split second of observation (he) miraculously… transformed the incident of swiftly seen shapes in time into a thrilling vision of dynamic forms in space.”


  • Title: Dancers at the Barre
  • Creator: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
  • Creator Lifespan: 1834/1917
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Creator Gender: male
  • Date Created: circa 1900
  • Physical Dimensions: w38.5 x h51.25 in
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Acquired 1944, Public Domain
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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