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Degas at the Opera

Henri Loyrette


The first book devoted to Degas’s depictions of the people and performances at the Opéra de Paris

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Edgar Degas (1834–1917) is celebrated as ‘the painter of dancers’, a subject that dominated his art for nearly four decades. Although there have been many books and exhibitions celebrating his love of the ballet, this volume is the first to consider his enduring fascination with the Paris Opéra. Celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Opéra’s founding, Degas at the Opéra presents approximately 100 of the artist’s best-known and beloved works in a range of media, including paintings, pastels, drawings, prints and sculpture.

A music lover and regular visitor to performances, Degas explored both the public spaces of the Opéra – auditorium, stage and boxes – as well as more private ones, including dance studios and backstage. He immortalized the players in this dazzling universe in such paintings as La Loge, La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans and Le Foyer de la Danse. They and many other works are reproduced here, accompanied by texts by a distinguished team of art historians.

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Daily Mail

'Sumptuously illustrated, the book uses Degas’ paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and fan designs, all superbly reproduced, as well as extensive to contemporary photographs, to record the artist’s fascination with the spectacles … presented in the late 19th century at the Paris Opera'
Dancing Times

'There’s only one word for this: joyous'
The Artist

Art Society Magazine

'The tour de force of this book is to give a palpable sense of Degas’s long, steady gaze at the ballet and radical stylisation of reality that ensued, to strip his work of its familiarity and make it strange again'
World of Interiors

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 30.0 x 25.0 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Illustrations: 300

Publication date: 2 January 2020

ISBN: 9780500023396

About the Author

Henri Loyrette is the former director of the Louvre Museum (2001–2013). He is the author of nineteen books on various subjects, including Degas, Gustave Eiffel and Marcel Proust.