Dancers Backstage

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) – Dancers Backstage, c.1876-83 (Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art Washington) – The man’s attire marks him as an abonné, one of the wealthy male subscribers to the Paris Opéra. Accorded the privilege of backstage access, the abonnés often lurked in the wings while productions were under way and flirted with the young dancers. Here, the dancer has turned away, her stance – head tilted down and arms folded – suggesting indifference…




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