Edgar Degas - The Rehearsal 1877

The Rehearsal 1877
The Rehearsal
1877 58x83cm oil/canvas
Burrell collection, Glasgow, Scotland

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From Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland:
The Rehearsal is one of Degas’ first paintings of the ballet. It was a subject he continued to paint for the rest of his life.
Although at first glance we feel that we have just happened upon this scene unfolding before our eyes, it is not at all realistic. Degas, unlike his Impressionist friends, rarely worked from life. Instead he worked from sketches, from memory and from his imagination. Despite this he has managed to capture a feeling of immediacy – the dancer almost hidden by the spiral staircase, the ankles descending the staircase and the woman on the right who is nearly cut in two.
Vincent van Gogh’s brother Theo bought this work in 1888 from fellow dealer Georges Petit for 5,220 French francs. Only a few weeks later he sold it for 8,000 French francs. William Burrell purchased the painting in July 1926 for £6500.