"Degas and the Nude" at Musée d'Orsay in Paris

From March 13, 2012 to July 01, 2012
  • Femme nue couchée, 1886-1888

    Femme nue couchée, 1886-1888

    © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

  • Une femme dans une baignoire s’épongeant la jambe, vers 1883

    Une femme dans une baignoire s’épongeant la jambe, vers 1883

    © Musée d'Orsay, dist. RMN / Patrice Schmidt

  • Femme nue couchée sur le ventre, la tête entre les bras, 1863-1865

    Femme nue couchée sur le ventre, la tête entre les bras, 1863-1865

    © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Stéphane Maréchalle

  • Le Tub, 1886

    Le Tub, 1886

    © Musée d'Orsay, dist. RMN / Patrice Schmidt

"Degas and the Nude" at Musée d'Orsay in Paris 75 Paris fr

The first major monographic exhibition in Paris devoted to Edgar Degas (1834-1917) since the 1988 retrospective at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, “Degas and the Nude” is part of the Musée d’Orsay’s aim to show developments in research relating to the great masters of painting in the second half of the 19th century, and follows the tributes paid to Claude Monet and Édouard Manet in 2010 and 2011.

Degas’ nudes demonstrate more than any other genre his technical and stylistic evolution, and in themselves offer a genuine retrospective, helping to explain why Degas is such an important artist in the history of the 19th century avant-garde movements. In his work on the nude, Degas distils the essential elements of his early classical training and the art of the great masters of the past whose work he admired and copied while, at the same time, formulating a style of artistic expression in keeping with his own era, from the Naturalism of the 1870s to his research into movement and his radical approach to forms at the end of his career. A link between 19th century tradition and the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, he was admired by Bonnard, Matisse and Picasso during their early careers.

In spite of their fragility and sensitivity to light, the exhibition is fortunate to have two versions of The Tub, the most prestigious examples of this medium that Degas raised to the highest level of achievement.

Organised with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the exhibition will present a very rich collection of graphic works from the Musée d’Orsay, seldom shown because of their sensitivity to light, and exceptional loans from the greatest private and public collections throughout the world, such as those of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery, London and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

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