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Edgar Degas

The Dance Lesson

About the Artwork

The Dance Lesson, ca. 1879. Edgar Degas. Pastel and black chalk on three pieces of wove paper, joined together. H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Adaline Havemeyer Perkins, in memory of her father, Horace Havemeyer, 1971.
Degas made various adjustments to this composition, presumably to accommodate the violinist in his final design. He added strips of paper at the top and to the right, and there is evidence to suggest that he may have altered the dancer's pose. A pastel study for the musician is in the Museum's collection (19.51.1). The present work was formerly owned by Gustave Caillebotte, who probably bought it from or soon after the Impressionist exhibition of 1879. In 1894 he bequeathed it to Renoir, who sold it shortly thereafter.

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