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Denver Art Museum

Degas "Four Ballet Dancers on Stage"

Degas "Four Ballet Dancers on Stage"

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From: Denver Art Museum
Limited Edition: 20
Exhibition: Degas: A Passion for Perfection
Material: Printed 2-ply vinyl
Dimensions: 30" x 89" (76cm x 226cm)
Hanging Hardware Included


Degas: A Passion for Perfection showcased more than 100 paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, sculptures, and monotypes completed by the artist between 1855 and 1906. Edgar Degas worked in numerous mediums to explore recurring themes. “It is essential to do the same subject over again, 10 times, 100 times,” he said. Often delaying the completion of his pieces, Degas reveled in the process of making art and striving toward perfection. The exhibition focused on Degas’ favorite subjects – dancers, horses, and nudes – and showed his transformation from a painter of historical subjects (he had a great love for the masters) to an artist of contemporary life in Paris. To understand Degas’ artistic progression and influences, works by Eugene Delacroix, Paul Cezanne, and the artist’s mentor J.A.D. Ingres were also included in the exhibition.

During his 60-year career, Degas studied ballet performers in approximately 1,500 works, which represent more than half his body of work. He sketched dancers during rehearsals and performances, waiting in the wings, training, alone, and in groups. Like many of his works, Degas completed Four Ballet Dancers on Stage over a period of time, from 1885-1890. This painting is one of many believed to have been influenced by his study of Japanese prints with its asymmetrical composition; the dancers are skewed to the right side of the canvas with the fourth dancer only half represented.

The two dancers on the left side of Degas’ Four Ballet Dancers on Stage appear on the front side of the banner. The Denver Art Museum logo appears in copper at the bottom on a white background. The opposite side of the banner is light blue and copper with the exhibition name, “DEGAS/ A PASSION FOR PERFECTION,” in copper on light blue at the top, and the date “FEB 11-MAY 20” and the museum’s logo in white reversed from the copper ground on the bottom.


This banner was displayed around the Denver area between February 11 and May 20, 2018. The exhibition was organized in association with the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge where it opened first, from October 3, 2017 until January 14, 2018. The Denver Art Museum was the sole American venue.

About the Artist

Learn more about Edgar Degas
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