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Edgar Degas [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Edgar Degas [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

New exhibition of Degas at the National Gallery

By Maria Mellor

A new Degas exhibit will premiere at the National Galley in September. This collection of drawings, paintings and pastels has rarely been viewed until now, making this an invaluable opportunity to see these works by leading French Impressionist.

The pieces have been loaned from the Burrell Collection, and the new exhibition in London will be the first time the group of pastels has been shown outside Scotland since they were acquired.

Marking the centenary of Degas’ death, the new exhibition provides visitors with the opportunity to view examples of the artist’s innovation through his favourite subjects: dancers and Parisian life. The collection includes the 1874 painting, The Rehearsal that features several ballet dancers practicing while the painter watches in a voyeuristic fashion from the corner of the room.

Degas is widely hailed as a prominent Impressionist, however, he is known to have hated the term—preferring to be called a Realist. He continuously experimented with materials, hence the variety of art produced by him from sketches to sculpture. The four oil paintings, 13 pastels and three drawings from the Burrell Collection will be shown alongside pieces from the National Gallery’s own collection and selected loans from other sources to represent a wide span of his accomplishments.

The Degas artwork has been taken from the Burrell Collection that was given to Glasgow by Sir William Burrell in 1944 with the condition that no pieces were to leave the city for fear of getting lost at sea.

The event is taking place at the National Gallery thanks to the Burrell Collection Bill, which received royal assent in 2014, meaning that pieces from the collection can be loaned even overseas. Paintings from the Degas collection made their international debut in Melbourne, Australia last year.

Admission is free to the National Gallery and the exhibition Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell will take place from 20 September 2017 to 7 May 2018.

Before you visit the exhibition, click here to read about how Degas was influenced by Japanese art.

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