Dancer with Bouquets
Date ca. 1895-1900
Artist:Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917
Dimensions 71 x 60 in. (180.3 x 152.4 cm) Overall, Frame (gallery): 93 × 81 × 8 in. (236.2 × 205.7 × 20.3 cm) Overall, Frame (travel): 69 3/4 × 81 5/8 × 5 1/2 in. (177.2 × 207.3 × 14 cm) Other (crate): 89 × 102 × 22 in. (226.1 × 259.1 × 55.9 cm)
Medium Oil on canvas
Credit Line Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., in memory of Della Viola Forker Chrysler
Description In this oil on canvas painting a prima ballerina takes a bow at the end of a performance. At her feet are bouquets of flowers tossed by an adoring audience. Standing before a painted landscape backdrop, she raises her hand as if to kiss the crowd before her.
Exhibition History"Exhibition of Paintings by the Master Impressionists," Gallery Durand-Ruel, New York, Oct. 15 - Nov. 10, 1934. (Exhib. cat. no. 3).
"Origins of Modern Art," Arts Club of Chicago, April 2 - 30, 1940. (Exhib. cat. no. 7).
"Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.," Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Jan. 16 - May 11, 1941. (Exhib. cat. no. 42).
"Paintings from the Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.," Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Seattle Art Museum; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Minneapolis Art Institute; St. Louis City Art Museum; William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City; Detroit Institute of Arts; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, March 2, 1956 - April 14, 1957. (Exhib. cat. no. 85).
"French Paintings, 1789-1929, from the Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.," Dayton Art Institute, March 25 - May 22, 1960. (Exhib. cat. no. 65).
"The Controversial Century, 1850-1950," Chrysler Art Museum of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1962. (Exhib. cat. not paged).
"Treasures from the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk and Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.," Tennessee Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood, Nashville, June 12 - Sept. 5, 1977. (Exhib. cat. no. 37).
"Veronese to Franz Kline: Masterworks from the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk," for the benefit of The Chrysler Museum Art Reference Library, Wildenstein & Co., New York, N. Y., April 13 - May 13, 1978. (Exhib. cat. no. 28).
"Degas," Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, May 23 - July 9, 1978. (Exhib. cat. no. 19).
"Degas: Beyond Impressionism," The National Gallery, London, May 22 - August 18, 1996; The Art Institute of Chicago, September 28, 1996 - January 12, 1997.
"Degas: Dancer with Bouquets," Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, July 1, 1997 - March 30, 1998.
"Edgar Degas: The Painter of Dancers," American Federation of Arts, Detroit Institute of Art, Oct. 20, 2002 - Jan. 12, 2003; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Feb. 16 - May 11, 2003. **Postcards, notecards, and posters were made of this painting for the Philadelphia tour.
"Edgar Degas: The Last Landscapes, Views of Saint-Valéry-sur-somme in Context," Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 27 - August 27, 2006; Columbus Museum of Art, OH, October 13, 2006 - January 21, 2007.
"Degas: Master of French Art," National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, December 12, 2008 - March 22, 2009.
"Les Enfants du Paradis: Painting and Theatre/Theatre and Painting from Neoclassicism to modernity," MART, Rovereto, Italy, February 6 - May 23, 2010; Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada, June 19 - September 26, 2010.
"Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement," Royal Academy of Arts, London, England, September 17 - December 11, 2011.
"Masterworks from the Chrysler Museum," North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, April 9, 2013 - February 2, 2014.
"Degas: A New Vision," National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, June 24 - September 18, 2016; Musuem of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, October 16, 2016 - January 8, 2017.
Published ReferencesBertina S. Manning. _Paintings from the Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.: An Exhibition Organized by the Portland Art Museum, Oregon_. Portland: Portland Art Association. 1956. No. 85.
Foreword by Charles F. Comfort, LL.D., and an introduction by William S.A. Dale, Ph.D. _The Controversial Century: 1850-1950_. Chrysler Art Museum of Provincetown, Massachusetts. 1962. No pages.
Eric M. Zafran and Mario Amaya. _Treasures from the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk and Walter P. Chrysler, Jr._. Tennessee Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood, Nashville. 1977. No. 37.
Eric M. Zafran and Mario Amaya. _Veronese to Franz Kline: Masterworks from the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk_. Norfolk, VA: The Chrysler Museum. 1978. No. 28.
Mario Amaya. "Contrasts and Comparisons in French Nineteenth Century Painting," _Apollo_. 107: 194. 04/1978: 16-25, ill.
Chrysler Museum. _Selections from the Permanent Collection: The Chrysler Museum_. Norfolk, VA: Chrysler Museum of Art. 1982: 64.
Jefferson C. Harrison, _French Paintings from the Chrysler Museum_. Norfolk, VA: The Chrysler Museum, 1986, No. 39, 77-79; Color plate No. 39, 133. *See for further references.
Jefferson C. Harrison, _The Chrysler Museum Handbook of the European and American Collections: Selected Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings_. Norfolk, VA: The Chrysler Museum, 1991, No. 120,154-155; Color Plate, 155.
Richard Kendall, _Degas: Beyond Impressionism_. London: National Gallery Publications Limited, 1996, 174, color ill. 180.
Christine Temin. "The City of Art with Big Shoulders: Chicago," _The Boston Globe_. 11/17/1996: Arts and Film Section, N1.
_Degas Calendar 1997_. London: National Gallery Publications Limited, 1996, color ill. 2 (January).
_Degas Postcard Book_. London: National Gallery Publications Limited, 1996, color ill. postcard #14.
Jill DeVonyar and Richard Kendall, _Degas and the Dance_, exh. cat., American Federation of Arts, New York, Ny., 2002, 192-193.
Ann Dumas, Richard Kendall, Flemming Friborg and Line Clausen Pedersen,_Edgar Degas: The Last Landscapes_, exh. cat., Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 2006 and Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, 2006-2007, 80-81 Fig. 79, 84.
Jeff Harrison, _Collecting with Vision: Treasures From the Chrysler Museum of Art_ (London: D. Giles Ltd., 2007), 51, fig. 50. ISBN: 978-0-940744-72-1
Jane Kinsman and Michael Pantazzi, _Degas: The Uncontested Master_ (Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2008), 166-167 fig. 77. ISBN: 978-0642541932
Suzanne Glover Lindsay, _Edgar Degas Sculpture_, (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2010), 224, fig. 3.
Kendall, Richard and Jill DeVonyar. "Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement." London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2011. Illustrated in color on p. 172, cat 82.
Martin Schwander, ed., _Edgar Degas: The Late Work_, exh. cat. (Riehen/Basel, Switzerland; Fondation Beyeler, 2012) 16.
Line Clausen Pedersen, _Degas' Method_ (Copenhagen: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 2013) 108.
Inscriptions Signed lower right: Degas
Provenance The artist, ca. 1895-1917; the artist's family, 1917-1918; Degas sale, Georges Petit, Paris, May 4, 1918; J. Seligmann, Paris, 1918; Seligmann sale, American Art Association, New York, Jan. 27, 1921; Ambroise Vollard, Paris, 1921; Durand-Ruel, New York, exhibited in October, 1934 and sold in 1939; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., 1939-1971; Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. in memory of Della Viola Forker Chrysler to the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, 1971.
Current Location Chrysler Museum of Art, Gallery 217
Catalog Entry Edgar Degas French, 1834-1917 Dancer with Bouquets, ca. 1895-1900 Oil on canvas, 71" x 60" (180.3 x 152.4 cm) Signed lower left: _Degas_ Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., in memory of Della Viola Forker Chrysler, 71.507 References: Harrison, _CM_, 1986, no. 39; _Degas_, exhib. cat., Grand Palais, Paris et al., 1988-89, p. 423. Edgar Degas was most widely known in his lifetime, and is beloved today particularly, as a painter of the dance. Already in 1867, in his _Mlle Fiocre in the Ballet from 'La Source'_ (Brooklyn Museum), he had begun to interpret subjects drawn from the ballet of the Paris Opéra. He continued to do so - in hundreds of paintings, sculptures, pastels and prints - for the next forty years. In the nineteenth century the ballet was one of the prime cultural diversions of the Parisian upper class. Degas' fascination may have been fostered at an early age by his father, a wealthy Paris banker who was deeply interested in music and surely held a subscription, or _abonnement_, to the Opéra. Degas chose for his subjects not merely the seasoned stars of the Opéra stage, like the dancer portrayed in The Chrysler Museum picture, but the lesser ranks of the _corps de ballet_ and even the adolescent apprentices, the _petits rats_. He showed dancers in performance, at rest or in transit backstage, and at work in the rehearsal hall, moving their often reluctant bodies through endless hours of exercise at the barre. In the discipline of the dance Degas may have sensed a metaphor for his own lifelong quest for aesthetic control. More important to the Impressionist Degas, however; was the opportunity the ballet offered to research the transitory effects of gesture and motion, the dynamics of human movement. _Dancer with Bouquets_ was produced late in Degas' career - around 1895-1900, when his eyesight was failing and he had begun to work in broader, more vigorous strokes. In the painting a prima ballerina takes a bow at the end of a performance: at her feet are bouquets of flowers tossed by an adoring audience. Standing before a painted landscape backdrop, he raises her hand as if to kiss the crowd before her. The footlights, which fill the scene with a magical, if rather harsh, incandescence, transform the gauzy layers of her gown into a smoldering violet-grey cloud. Though painted on a large, "official" scale - unusual for the late Degas - _Dancer with Bouquets_ was not exhibited during the artist's lifetime, but remained in his studio, where it served as a model for other works. The dancer's pose was also used in one of Degas' later sculptures, _The Bow_ of c. 1896. The _pentimenti_ visible along the contours of the dancer's face and arms indicate that Degas reworked her pose considerably. There are at least four preparatory studies for the figure. One, a half-length _étude_ in pastel, was included in the second Degas atelier sale in Paris in December of 1918. The remaining three - full-length figure studies in charcoal and pastel and yet another half-length sketch in charcoal - were dispersed in 1919 at the third of the posthumous Degas sales. In _Dancer with Bouquets_ the scene is viewed obliquely, as if from the wings or a private side box. The odd angle of the viewer's vantage point and the tricks it plays with perspective and the dancer's pose are typical of Degas' later, more abstracted compositions. The sharply lighted, unlovely features of the aging dancer's face and the sense of motion arrested create and image of nearly photographic frankness and immediacy - an unstudied "snapshot" of reality stolen from the flow of time. Jefferson C. Harrison, _The Chrysler Museum Handbook of the European and American Collections: Selected Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings_. Norfolk, VA: The Chrysler Museum, 1991, No. 120,154-155; Color Plate, 155.
Object Label Edgar Degas French, 1834–1917 Dancer with Bouquets, ca. 1895–1900 Oil on canvas Nothing settles into place in Edgar Degas’ Dancer with Bouquets. With flowers at her feet, a prima ballerina bows inelegantly toward her audience. The harsh lighting seems to push back against her, illuminating her features and indicating she has danced many times before. Degas, also late in his career, had abandoned the details of his earlier paintings. Instead, he painted flat strokes of color and thick black outlines that make details indecipherable. Fascinated by dancers and the hard, often unglamorous lives they led, this canvas is one of many Degas devoted to the subject. Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., in memory of Della Viola Forker Chrysler 71.507
Object Number 71.507