“Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement”, from 17 September to 11 December, traces the development of the artist’s ballet imagery throughout his career, from the documentary mode of the early 1870s to the sensuous expressiveness of his final years. The exhibition is the first to present Degas’s progressive engagement with the figure in movement in the context of parallel advances in photography and early film, of which he was directly involved.
This extensive exhibition comprises around 85 paintings, sculptures, pastels, drawings, prints and photographs by Degas, as well as photographs by his contemporaries and examples of early film. It brings together selected material from public institutions and private collections in Europe and North America including both celebrated and little-known works by Degas.
Interestingly, Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movementexplores the fascinating links between Degas’s original way of viewing and recording the dance and the inventive experiments being made at the same time in photography by Jules-Etienne Marey and Eadweard Muybridge and in film-making by such pioneers as the Lumière brothers.
By presenting the artist in this context, the exhibition will demonstrate that Degas was far more than merely the creator of beautiful images of the ballet, but instead a modern, radical artist who thought profoundly about visual problems and was fully attuned to the technological developments of his time.
Saturday 17 September to Sunday 11 December 2011, 10am-6pm (£3-14) www.royalacademy.org.uk