Friday, August 14, 2020

Marie Cuttoli, the Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray at the Barnes Foundation


Marie Cuttoli, the Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray

Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia

July 25 - August 23, 2020

Reviewed by Ed Voves

Marie Cuttoli played a major role in modern art during the first half of the 20th century, only to become a footnote in history. This reversal of fortune took place, sadly, while Cuttoli lived. Her fall from high regard was one of the penalties of a long life-span. However, the causes were much more complex than merely a shift of critical opinion or artistic taste due to the passage of time.

Cuttoli's ill luck continued when the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia mounted a long overdue exhibition, opening on February 23, 2020. Two weeks later, the Barnes closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although museums all over the world have been affected by Covid-19, it was singularly unfortunate that the first exhibition - ever - devoted to Cuttoli should have been subjected to the "lockdown."

However, I am thrilled to relate that the Barnes reopened in late July and Marie Cuttoli, the Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray is back on view until August 23, 2020.

Marie Cuttoli did indeed live a long time, 1879 to 1973. She was involved in three major developments in the world of art during this period: the growing popular appreciation of Modernism, the 20th century Tapestry Revival and the cultural resistance to Nazism. In each of these spheres of action, Cuttoli made an important contribution to the arts. 

Each of these endeavors was founded upon a knowledge of fabrics and an appreciation of style in dress and decor. From this fashion sense, Cuttoli went on to become a patron of the arts and a figure of controversy.

Man Ray, Marie Cuttoli, ca. 1938

Marie Cuttoli was born in Tulle, a textile center in central France which gives its name to a high quality net fabric much used in wedding veils and ballet costumes. Interestingly, Henri Matisse, who also utilized cloth of all kinds in his paintings, was born in Cambrai, famous for a type of linen cloth called cambric.

There is no way of knowing if early exposure to the textile industry had any effect upon Cuttoli. Her father was an inn keeper in Tulle and only began selling fabrics after the family moved to Paris. Almost nothing is known of Cuttoli's childhood, education or early adult years. But somewhere, somehow, she mastered a "feel" for haute couture.

Cuttoli married a French official in Algeria, but divorced in 1913. She retained her connection with this North African country when she later married Paul Cuttoli, another French politician in Algeria. In her excellent biographical essay on Cuttoli, Barnes curator Cindy Kang writes that Cuttoli likely conceived her plans for a career in high fashion in Algeria, where "she discovered the beauty and craftsmanship of its embroidery and weaving and realized that there was a European market for this work."

What transformed a good plan into a brilliant one was Cuttoli's idea to hire European artists to design clothing and accoutrements in the latest Modernist styles and then have them made in Algeria. Thus, her fashion line would be something strikingly new, rather than trying to revive Orientalism as a twentieth century design concept. 

In 1922, Cuttoli opened Galerie Myrbor in Paris. Two splendid displays in the Barnes exhibition evoke the sophisticated ambiance of Galerie Myrbor. 

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) Gallery view of Marie Cuttoli exhibit at the Barnes Foundation, showing evening jackets sold at Galerie Myrbor

Despite competition from other Parisian fashion houses, Cuttoli's Myrbor was a success, gaining rave reviews from an American guidebook to Paris.

"There is nothing in the French market like the elegant evening wraps," gushed A Shopping Guide to Paris (1929), "rich with embroidery and distinguished in line."

Cuttoli had an eye for talent. The spectacular red and gold evening jacket, shown above, is believed to have utilized embroidery designs by Natalia Goncharova. But in a real leap of creative brilliance, Cuttoli courted first rank artists to design the more prosaic rugs which we see in the photo, below. This ensemble replicates almost exactly how these exquisite carpets were displayed almost a century ago. 

Ed Voves, Photo (2020)
 Gallery view of the Marie Cuttoli exhibit,
 showing a rug designed by Louis Marcoussis

The rug on the floor, entitled Le Chleuh, was designed by the Polish-born artist Louis Marcoussis. Pictured on the walls, from left, are Jean Lurçat's The Two Harlequins and Flames and Fernand Leger's Paris.  

Where these signature rugs were placed, floor or wall, was a matter of taste, not mark of quality. A Shopping Guide to Paris's authors, Therese and Louise Bonney, noted astutely "the rugs are Cuttoli's most important contribution ... If you live in a a New York apartment, you can very well use them as wall hangings for which they are admirably suited, as the artists, all painters, have given them the painting quality." 

"Wall hangings" of "painting quality" are, of course, called tapestries. Cuttoli's decision to include tapestry art as part of the inventory of Galerie Myrbor was to have momentous effects

The quality woven versions of Modernist paintings Cuttoli commissioned challenged established conventions of art. Sonia Delauney, one of the premier artists of the 1920's, "viewed her painting and textile work as a continuum," as Cindy Kang comments in the exhibition catalog. Rather than being mere reproductions, the "rugs" on sale at Myrbor extended the range of Modernist art to a wider, global audience.

Unfortunately, A Shopping Guide to Paris had hardly been printed when the U.S. stock market crash of 1929 occurred. American tourists no longer flocked to Paris to buy high fashion garments. Hard times confronted haute couture

Cuttoli made the difficult choice to concentrate on the production of tapestry versions of iconic Modernist works. Many of the greatest masters of Modernist art, Fernand Leger, Georges Rouault and Andre Derain, supplied her with striking examples of their oeuvres.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) 
Tapestry version of Andre Derain's The Stag Hunt 

Silk, wool and cotton thread would then replace oil paint and canvas in woven versions of these masterpieces. The tapestries were made at the factory of Aubusson, located not far from her birthplace of Tulle. With many garment and fabric workers in France being laid-off due to the Depression, Cuttoli chose to keep production close to home. Her daring initiative was intended to promote economic growth as well as artistic expression.

The results of this decision can be appreciated in comparisons of an original painting by Joan Miró, commissioned by Cuttoli in 1933, with the tapestry version made in Aubusson a year later. 

Joan Miró, Rhythmic Figures, 1934

Tapestry version of Joan Miró's Rhythmic Figures, 1934

Rhythmic Figures was one of four paintings made as cartoons for Cuttoli tapestries. It is a masterpiece of Miro's signature style of biomorphic forms set against swathes of color. Close study of Rhythmic Figures by the art scholar K.L.H. Wells reveals that Miro's technique aimed - and brilliantly succeeded - in creating a work ready for translation into tapestry format.

The background of colored patches and the foreground of biomorphic forms share a jigsaw puzzle-like quality, with flat shapes nestled against one another on a single plane. In this way, the compositions echo tapestry's weave, in which the threads interlock to create a single, flat surface.

The success of Cuttolli's Modernist tapestries greatly impressed Dr. Albert Barnes. The tapestry version of Miro's Rhythmic Figures entered the collection of the Barnes Foundation. Dr. Barnes also purchased the tapestry version of Pablo Picasso's Secrets (1934) which was displayed next to Henri Matisse's Le Bonheur de Vivre, one of the treasures of Barnes' collection.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020)
 Tapestry version of Picasso's Secrets (Confidences), 1934

Cuttoli's approach to tapestry was based on pictorialism, an exacting effort to recreate the detail and the spirit of the original. Yet, over the course of the 1930's, some artists and critics began complaining that Cuttoli's tapestries were too close to the original painting or cartoon. Instead of being true works of art, the tapestries which Cuttoli commissioned were deemed to be over-priced imitations.

During a public lecture which she gave at a June 1939 exhibition, Cuttoli was openly criticized either by the artist, Jean Lurçat, or by one his supporters. This was an astonishing act of rudeness, whether Lurçat's insistence on unique expression was true or not. It was also an act of ingratitude. Cuttoli had been generous in support of Lurçat, commissioning numerous works, including The Two Harlequins and Flames shown in the gallery view above.

Cuttoli maintained her composure during this disgraceful incident. Instead of engaging in a bitter exchange with Lurçat, Cuttoli set to work finalizing the arrangements for a major exhibition of her tapestries in the United States. Shortly after the exhibit opened in San Francisco, the outbreak of World War II and the German blitzkrieg devastated France.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) 
Gallery view of the Marie Cuttoli exhibit showing Georges Rouault's The Wounded Clown (left) and the tapestry version (right)

The law of "unintended effect" now worked to Cuttoli's advantage - at least temporarily. Cuttoli's tapestry collection was isolated in the U.S. but this provided her with the opportunity to mount an extended touring exhibition. Thanks to Dr. Barnes, who "pulled strings" to get her a travel visa, Cuttoli was able to escape from France and reach safety in the U.S.

Throughout the war years, Cuttoli's tapestries toured twenty cities in the U.S., from the major east coast urban centers to Honolulu in Hawaii. The effect of the exhibition was a spectacular affirmation of French art and culture during one of the darkest hours of its history.

Cuttoli was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government following the defeat of Nazi Germany. But the debate resumed after the end of World War II whether tapestries should be viewed as part of the "continuum" of the visual arts or as unique creative works in their own right. Art scholars during the post-war years increasingly endorsed the latter view. 

As this shift in opinion took place, Marie Cuttoli's role as a proponent of modern art was seriously diminished. Lavish accolades were heaped upon Jean Lurçat for having led the revival of tapestry as an art form.

In her book, Great Tapestries, the Web of History from the 12th to the 20th Centuries, Edita Lausanne wrote with empathy of Cuttoli's initiative but concluded:

The result was both admirable and disappointing; admirable for the precision and fidelity of even the subtlest harmonies, disappointing because from a distance it was impossible to distinguish the painting from the woven replica, which amounted to the very negation of tapestry. The operation had led to a dead end ... but at least it was seen that another path must be sought. 

This verdict, however, is open to question. Cuttoli's tapestries were never exact woven copies of the originals. Moreover, Cuttoli commissioned these tapestries decades before high quality color reproductions of art works were generally available. Images of art works in books and magazines during the 1930's and 1940's were overwhelmingly black and white "half-tones." 

Another thing to remember about Cuttoli's era is that international art exhibitions were a rare phenomenon. Occasionally, major art works were sent abroad to appear in prestigious events like the 1939 New York World's Fair. The rotation of traveling art exhibitions, which we have grown accustomed to in recent times, did not exist. 

Cuttoli's wonderful tapestries may have been expensive but the verdict that her "operation had led to a dead end" is unfair and untrue. Cuttoli's tapestry replications of great works of Modernist art was part of a grand tradition - and a novel way of introducing newly created masterpieces to a wide audience.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) 
Gallery view of the Marie Cuttoli exhibit at the Barnes Foundation,

One of the many merits of Marie Cuttoli, the Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray at the Barnes is that we are enabled to grasp the importance of Cuttoli's efforts to widen the focus of art. Instead of a few fortunate visitors to Paris, Cuttoli brought the Parisian art world to art lovers in the United States during years of conflict and turmoil.

Marie Cutttoli took tapestry and expanded its role beyond the merely decorative or the "dead end" of replication. Her World War II-era exhibitions outflanked the German occupation of France and asserted humanistic values in response to the Nazi bid to overturn civilization.

How ironic it is, in this age of the Covid-19 quarantine, that Marie Cutttoli also provided a template for today's "virtual" programming.

Confronted with the Covid-19 pandemic, art curators are using Zoom to present their programs to audiences, who would be otherwise excluded. Faced with global war, Marie Cuttoli achieved comparable results with her touring exhibitions of Modernist tapestries. 

As the French proverb states so well: the more things change, the more they remain the same.


Introductory Image:                                                                                

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) Gallery view of Marie Cuttoli, the Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ran at the Barnes Foundation, showing Le Corbusier's Marie Cuttoli (1936), tapestry version on the left and the painted cartoon (right), oil on cardboard. Both works are from the Foundation Le Corbusier, Paris.

Man Ray (American,1890-1976)  Marie Cuttoli, ca. 1938. Gelatin silver negative on nitrate film: 3 3/8 x 2 3/8 inches. Collection of Musee National d'art Modern, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) Gallery view of Marie Cuttoli exhibit at the Barnes Foundation, showing evening jackets sold at Galerie Myrbor.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) Gallery view of Marie Cuttoli exhibit showing rugs designed by Louis Marcoussis, Jean Lurcat & Fernand Leger.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) Tapestry version of Andre Derain's The Stag Hunt, 1938. Woven in Aubusson. Tapestry: wool and silk, 85 3/8 inches x 72 7/8 inches. Musee d'art Modern, Troyes, France.

Joan Miró, Rhythmic Figures, 1934. Oil on canvas: 76 x 67 5/8 inches. Kunstsammlung, Nordrhein,Westfalen, Dusseldorf.

Tapestry version of Joan Miró's Rhythmic Figures, 1934. Woven in Aubusson, France.  Tapestry: cotton and wool with silk, 77 x 69 inches. Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) Pablo Picasso's Secrets (Confidences) or Inspiration. Woven by Atelier Delarbre, Aubusson, France, 1934. Tapestry: Cotton and wool with silk, 75 x 67 inches (190.5 x 170.2 cm.) The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia.

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) Gallery view of the Marie Cuttoli exhibit showing Georges Rouault's The Wounded Clown (left) and the tapestry version (right).

Ed Voves, Photo (2020) Gallery view of the Marie Cuttoli exhibition at the Barnes Foundation.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Degas at the Opéra at the National Gallery of Art

Degas at the Opéra

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
July 20 - October 12, 2020

Reviewed by Ed Voves 
Original Photos by Anne Lloyd  

The Paris Opéra exerted a presence in the art of Edgar Degas much as the “Wooden O” of the Globe Theater did for William Shakespeare. The Paris Opéra was not merely a place of fashionable leisure, but served as a focus for Degas’ formidable powers of observation, insight and expression.

Shakespeare’s Globe, thanks to the immortal Bard, could hold within its oak timber frame the “vasty fields of France" at the Battle of Agincourt. So too, Degas was able to capture the spirit of Paris at the Opéra, on stage and off, in moments of ethereal beauty, tense activity and sweaty, muscle-aching exhaustion.

Edgar Degas, The Orchestra of the Opera, c. 1870

Degas at the Opera is a recently opened exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Perhaps "re-opened" more accurately defines the timeline of this magnificent exhibit, which premiered a few days before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in early March 2020. The National Gallery has now reopened, with art lovers able to schedule timed-visits to the West Wing, site of this soul-restoring investigation of Degas and his love of music.

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) 
Gallery view of Degas at the Opera showing Four Dancers, c. 1899

The National Galley has a well-earned reputation for staging exhibitions of  nineteenth century French art. Degas at the Opéra is very much in the grand tradition of The New Painting: Impressionism, 1874-1886 (1986), In the Forest of Fontainebleau (2008) and Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism (2017). It is an exhibition not to be missed and the National Gallery deserves a lot of praise for giving it an added lease on life under trying circumstances.

Edgar Degas came from a cultured family, with music appreciation a shared passion between Degas and his father. Auguste De Gas hosted musical salons at the family residence, inviting noted professional musicians and gifted amateurs to perform. Degas later painted many of these leading figures of the French music scene, such as the celebrated bassoon playerDésiré Dihau, who appears in the front row center of Degas’s The Orchestra at the Opéra.  

Another painting on view in the exhibition directly references the musical entertainments hosted by Degas' father, the double portrait of the young Spanish singer, Lorenzo Pagans, and the aging Auguste De Gas. This poignant work evokes a rising, new era and the passing away of its predecessor. 

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020)
 Detail of Lorenzo Pagans & Auguste De Gas by Edgar Degas, 1871-72

In some ways, the youthful Pagans is a surrogate for Degas in the picture. Singer and painter were born a year apart. Talented and handsome, the charismatic Pagans takes center stage in the painting, while the elderly Auguste De Gas barely manages to remain alert and composed. It was a diplomatic way of acknowledging his father's continuing dedication and support for the arts despite the baneful effects of old age and declining health.

The list of musicians, dancers and composers who were invited to the musical evenings of Auguste de Gas, later to appear in Degas's paintings, points out a hugely significant point. Degas was painting his life story in terms of music, not merely documenting the performing arts of mid-nineteenth century France.

Along with Désiré Dihau, Lorenzo Pagans, Ludovic Halévy and other leading figures of the French music establishment, the Paris Opéra itself figured prominently in Degas' consciousness. More than just a building, the Opéra had a character all its own. This "living" presence called forth an emotional response and, Degas being Degas, the relationship was a complicated affair.

When Degas was a young man, Opéra performances were presented in an aging building known as the Salle le Peletier. Ballet, being an integral part of French opera, Le Peletier was the site for the great dancers of the age. There, they expressed in movement the music of such masters as Giacomo Meyerbeer, whose Robert le Diable (1831) was one of Degas' favorite operas. 

Le Peletier, careworn though it was, had excellent acoustics and Degas loved it. But in 1873, Le Peletier burned down. It was replaced by the ornate Palais Garnier. Degas disliked the new building, partly because it had been planned and approved by Napoleon III, whom the artist despised.

Edgar Degas, The Dance Class, begun 1873, completed 1875–1876

One of the outstanding dancers to perform at Le Peletier was Jules Perrot (1810-1892). Degas painted Perrot in one of his greatest works and also created the first of his monotype prints depicting Perrot. However, Perrot's career and contributions to French ballet are problematical in their relationship to Degas. 

Perrot was a figure of renown, but of the era of Degas' father. Perrot was a great dancer and choreographer from the 1830's to the 1850's and he created the celebrated ballet, Giselle in 1841. In 1850, he became the director of the Imperial Russian Ballet, a position he held until 1858.

Degas portrays Perrot in the role of ballet master in The Ballet Class. Two versions of the painting were created during the mid-1870's, one in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, the other in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. 

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020)
 Detail of Degas' Portrait of the Dancer Jules Perrot

By the time Degas began the preparatory sketch in 1873, Perrot was retired. While he is known to have given some private lessons after his return from Russia, Perrot held no official positions in the French theatrical establishment. 

Degas shows Perrot instructing the dancers in the class room of Le Peletier which, as we noted, burned down in 1873. This was very year that Degas started to work on composing this painting. 

Thus, The Dance Class is an imaginary scene, a retired dance master whose Romantic style was passé, rehearsing ballerinas in a theater which no longer existed.

The Paris Opéra, Salle le Peletier, ca. 1821.

The Paris Opéra, Palais Garnier, c. 1889–1890

Degas' depiction of Perrot and his dancing class may seem more in the vein of fantasy or nostalgia than as documentary representation. This raises some interesting questions about Degas' attitude toward objective reality.

To his friend, Ludovic Halévy, Degas wrote that "One sees as one wants to see; this is false; and this falsity constitutes art."

Does this remark mean that Degas, the arch-traditionalist, succumbed to moral relativism? Or was he articulating an understanding of the selective vision that is a common trait of all human beings - artists most of all?

The solution to the riddle that "falsity constitutes art" can likely be found in the way that Degas used a limited range of motifs. Focusing upon these motifs, Degas explored the small world of the Paris Opéra in its every nuance. Sketching and drawing, painting and making prints, Degas "is constantly moving forward" as Camille Pissarro said.

As a result of his single-minded resolve, Degas saw beyond the "falsity" in art.  He escaped from painting himself into the corner of an illusory or imagined realm - and gained higher levels of insight and meaning. 

Degas was a patriotic Frenchman. His depictions of the opera and ballet are testaments to the excellence of the French traditions of these art forms. Moreover, he created these works at the moment when France was losing - or had lost - its preeminent position in opera and ballet. Wagner and Verdi contested for leadership as the greatest opera composers in Europe. In terms of dance, the Russian ballet, led by Marius Petipa who had worked under Perrot, now took the lead. 

Edgar Degas, The Ballet from "Robert le Diable", 1871

Degas did not react to the loss of France's cultural hegemony by painting moments of vanished glory. He actually painted only one opera being performed, Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable. Amazingly, the focus of this painting is not on the ballerinas on stage but on a front-row patron, busily scanning the audience with a pair of opera glasses which he hardly needs to watch the show!

In almost all of his other opera or ballet-themed works, Degas portrays musicians and dancers engaged in disciplined work. He shows them devoting themselves to their art and to reviving France's position as the leading artistic force in Europe.

Edgar Degas, The Dance Class, 1872

Degas utilized bold, experimental art forms in order to show the behind-the-scenes reality of the Paris Opéra. Particularly worthy of note are his "elongated" paintings. With one exception, these are narrow oil paintings with the subject depicted along a horizontal axis. The subjects were Degas' favorites: race horses and ballet dancers. The exception, on a vertical axis, was Miss Lala at the Cirque Fernando, a circus picture painted in 1879.

Edgar Degas, The Dance Lesson, 1879

These "elongated" works have a cinematic quality, with a sense of movement pushing the dynamics of the picture beyond the picture plain. As with other works of Degas, particularly the magnificent Four Dancers shown above, the various dancers - or horses and jockeys - take on the identity of one, singular figure as it shifts and moves about the dance studio or the starting line.

The art scholar, Marine Kisiel, notes in the exhibition catalog:

... the figures seem to burst into the picture from outside the frame, only to vanish in the distance beyond it. These figures have no individual identity. True enough, the bows on the tutus and the colors of the blouses vary, as do the poses, but a good look at them - watching them enter, move across, then vanish from these works - soon produces the impression that the eye is ultimately following just one figure: the ballerina in an infinite variety of positions or the horse and jockey united in one body, their essence conveyed by the nearly uninterrupted momentum of their graceful movements.

Edgar Degas, The Dance Class, c.1880

Degas also pioneered the use of monotype prints for his ballet scenes. These seldom-studied works by Degas were featured in an outstanding 2016 exhibit, A Strange New Beauty, at the Museum of Modern Art.

Edgar Degas, (with Vicomte Lepic), The Ballet Master, ca. 1876

Monotypes, as the name implies, are one-of-a-kind artworks. With these prints, Degas was able to bring forth a haunting quality to the image which the vivid colors of the oil-on-canvas original somewhat obscure. 

Degas also created a technique of making succeeding impressions of the prints, with the ink much weakened and then touching-up the print with pastel and gouache to create a color version. Sometimes, he added or modified figures to the scene. These are impressive works, yet they suffer to a certain degree, like colorized photos. The first, true monotype version has an unsettling quality which grabs a hold of our attention and does not let go.

In a superb essay in the exhibition catalog, Henri Loyrette writes, by "using this new medium, Degas gives a very different tone to his dance scenes, hitherto so lively and peaceful; now the ballet master and the dancer loom up like psychic apparitions from the dark, tormented background ..."

There was indeed a dark side to the Paris Opéra. It could be glimpsed in the figures of frock-coated patrons allowed to haunt the corridors, dance studies, even the wings of the stage. Degas was one of them, having gained, with considerable effort, a temporary pass enabling him to sketch and make notes backstage. 

In the introductory picture of this essay, we see a top-hatted patron lounging on stage as the curtain goes up. It is relatively banal, a Parisian boulevardier enjoying himself indoors. But other such scenes by Degas are more in keeping with the monotype prints of brothels which lent such a disturbing edge to the MOMA exhibit, A Strange New Beauty.

These backstage flirtations/assignations introduce a cautionary element to the story of the Paris Opéra in the age of Degas. It is one more variation of an ageless theme: Et in Arcadia Ego.

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) 
Gallery view of the Degas at the Opera Exhibition

Yet, nothing can detract from the wondrous quality of Degas at the Opera. It was a sheer delight to view the exhibit in February, before the Covid-19 horror brought museum visits to a standstill. I hope to see it again before it closes and I urge all, who can make the journey to the National Gallery in D.C., to go.

If the Covid-19 crisis has taught me one thing, it is that we should appreciate great exhibitions like Degas at the Opera with ever more gratitude. To share a few moments standing before incomparable works of art like Yellow Dancers is a priceless gift. To behold Degas' actual signature is to see with our own eyes the mark of genius.

Text: Copyright of Ed Voves, all rights reserved. Original photos: Copyright of Anne Lloyd, all rights reserved                                                                                         
Images courtesy of the  National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Introductory Image:
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) The Curtain, ca. 1880. Pastel over charcoal and monotype on laid paper mounted on board: (sheet) 29 x 33.3 cm (11 7/16 x 13 1/8 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) The Orchestra of the Opera, c. 1870. Oil on canvas: overall: 6.6 x 46 cm (22 5/16 x 18 1/8 in.) Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) Gallery view of the Degas at the Opera Exhibition, showing Degas' Four Dancers, c. 1899. Oil on canvas  overall: 151.1 x 180.2 cm (59 1/2 x 70 15/16 in.)  National Gallery of Art, Washington, Chester Dale Collection

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) Detail of Lorenze Pagans and Auguste De Gas by Edgar Degas, ca. 1871-1872, Musée d'Orsay.

Edgar Degas, The Dance Class, begun 1873, completed 1875–1876. Oil on canvas: overall: 85.5 x 75 cm (33 11/16 x 29 1/2 in.) Musée d'Orsay, Paris, Bequest of Isaac de Camondo, 1911. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay)/Hervé Lewandowski

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) Detail of Degas' Portrait of the Dancer Jules Perrot, c. 1874–1875. Black and white chalks, charcoal on a faded pink paper: 47 x 31.2 cm (18 1/2 x 12 5/16 in.) Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

The Paris Opéra, Salle le Peletier. View of the New Opéra Auditorium from the Rue de Provence, ca.1821. Engraving, New York Public Library, Jerome Robbins Dance Division

The Paris Opéra, Palais Garnier. Photochrom Zurich, Paris. Opéra, from Souvenirs de Paris, c. 1889–1890, National Gallery of Art Library, Washington, Department of Image Collection.

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) The Ballet from "Robert le Diable", 1871. Oil on canvas: overall: 66 x 54.3 cm (26 x 21 3/8 in.) Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.552)

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) The Dance Class, 1872. Oil on canvas: 32.7 x 46.3 cm (12 7/8 x 18 1/4 in.). Musée d'Orsay, Paris, Bequest of Isaac de Camondo, 1911, RF 1977 Copyright RMN-Grand Palais 

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) The Dance Lesson, 1879. Oil on canvas: 38 x 88 cm (14 15/16 x 34 5/8 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washignton D.C. Collection of Mr. and Mrs Paul Mellon.

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) The Dance Class, c.1880. Oil on canvas: 39.4 x 88.4 cm (15 1/2 x 34 13/16 in.) Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Acquired by Sterling andFrancine Clark, 1924, 1955.562

Edgar Degas, (in collaboration with Vicomte Lepic). The Ballet Master (Le maître de ballet), c. 1876. Monotype heightened and corrected with white chalk or wash: plate: 56.5 x 70 cm (22 1/4 x 27 9/16 in.); sheet: 62 x 85 cm (24 7/16 x 33 7/16 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) Gallery view of the Degas at the Opera Exhibition, showing Degas' Yellow Dancers (In the Wings), 1874/1876, The Art Institute of Chicago, and Dancer with a Bouquet, ca. 1877-1880, Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Anne Lloyd, Photo (2020) Signature of Edgar Degas.