24 Sep → 19 Jan 2020
Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 6 pm. Thursday until 9:45 pm. Closed Monday.
You have all seen a work by Edgar Degas representing an opera ballerina, whether in a poster, postcard or museum. It is clear that these are the painter's best-known and most famous works. By continuing its study of the painter's work from every angle, the Musée d'Orsay takes a very original approach to the artist's favourite theme, focusing on the portrait of the Paris Opera in the 19th century. A step aside, a point, a focus on this "house" that he was the central point of his work, his "his own room" as he liked to remind us. It all began in 1874 when he organized, with painters such as Monet, Cézanne and Renoir, the first exhibition of the Impressionists. There he presents his first paintings of dancers. He will paint them until his death. He explores the various spaces - hall and stage, dressing rooms, foyer, dance hall -, attaches himself to those who populate them, dancers, singers, orchestra musicians, spectators, subscribers in black clothes haunting the wings. This closed universe is a microcosm with infinite possibilities and allows all kinds of experimentation: multiplicity of points of view, contrast of lighting, study of movement and the truth of the gesture. No exhibition so far has considered the Opera as a whole, studying both Degas' passionate connection with this house, his musical tastes, but also the infinite resources of this wonderful "toolbox". Organized by the Museums of Orsay and the Orangery and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where it will be presented in 2020, on the occasion of the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Paris Opera, this exhibition is an opportunity to discover the masterpieces inspired by this very special artistic universe.