The Degas, Danse, Dessin exhibition takes a fresh look not only at Degas’ passion for representing movement and the body, but also his attraction to photography. The central theme of the visit is the rich friendship that lasted over a period of twenty years between Degas and the young poet Paul Valéry. Valéry admired his elder and jotted down his impressions and thoughts on the painter’s art in his notebooks. He later used these poetic snippets as the basis of the book he compiled for the art critic Amboise Vollard’s publishing house. The book was published in 1937 and was entitled Degas, Danse, Dessin.
The exhibition explores the three broad themes covered by Valéry in his book. The first section gives us the opportunity to rediscover Degas’ passion for drawing and studies made with his pencil in hand, copying the Masters or making studies from real life. Then we explore the question of dance, and in a more general way movement and how the artist captured it onto canvas. Finally, the last section looks at the parallels made by Valéry between “Horses, dance and photo” and which take us up to the first animated images.
- November 29, 2017 Initial release