Friday, September 27, 2019

Degas À l'Opera, musee d'Orsay

Can you ever see too many Degas dancers? The new exhibition, DEGAS À L'OPERA opened on Tuesday. I ran and arrived just in time to sneak in the back end at The ORSAY before closing.

The colors! And extra long compositions with a diagonal slant to them.
Astonishing combinationsof Vermillion red, viridian blue-green, yellow ochre combine to create magic.
Degas would put down a layer of pastel color. Then spray it with fixative before laying another color on top. We used those same little bent metal pipes in art school  to fix our charcoal drawing. The smell was horrendous. I stopped immediately and switched to watercolor merci deux.
In 1899 he invited Julie Manet (daughter of Berthe Morisot) to visit his studio to see "some orgies of color I'm doing right now".  She was surprised and wrote in her diary (I saw a copy at my bouquiniste) "he never shows what he is doing". He was always a private insular man.
Degas planted himself at the Opera Garnier, backstage, front and center, sketching during rehearsals (every artist's dream).
He was around to sketch the gentleman admirers, top-hatted in tails, waiting for the teenage ballerinas to accompany them to dinner etc. after the performance. Epstein's keen interest in young schoolgirls isn't something new. Rodin too surrounded himself with young Indonesian dancers.
A box at the opera painted by Degas. The Orsay exhibit is a collaborative effort to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Opera Garnier, where the dancers performed.
You should try the tour at the opera when you're in Paris. Its always thrilling. The Degas/Orsay exhibit is on through January. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast and pleas share with a friend. You can receive Paris letters in your mailbox 📮. Take look on ETSY . Cheers Carolg and 🐻 in Paris


  1. Anonymous12:41 AM

    Magical indeed! Thank you so much for this show of that
    unrivaled draftman!

    1. There were many, many drawings too but impossible to show everything.

  2. Jeanette2:18 AM

    laughed at your description of the pipe and fixative you used in school! I suspect you made the right decision…

    1. That fixative is/was lethal..had to be.
      Maybe why Degas went blind. I've always ondered...
      Who wore protective face masks back then? Its all changed now merci deux!

  3. Lovely memories of D'Orsay:)There is a color I love of Daniel Smith..Cascade Green..I think Degas would have loved it also;)

    1. Emerald green is close
      But Degas' greens are inimitable imho

  4. PS and your Opéra Garnier♥

  5. I don't know which I find more exquisite -- the Degas or your own interpretations, which I really love. (Especially of the Opera Garnier, which is one of my favorite spots. Loved the history you shared, too!

  6. Kathleen2:13 PM

    Wow - loved that! Ballet dancers - très joli! (I am almost finished reading "Nureyev" by Julie Kavanagh - excellent!)
    Love "Opera Garnier," too.

  7. NormaJean4:32 PM

    Love this Carol!! Brought back memories.... 17 years ago I was 3 weeks in Paris, etc.... after working at the Norton Museum in WPB for 12 yrs and falling in love w the impressionists, the Musee d'Orsay was my very favorite museum! The last week of my trip I stayed at the Hotel d'Orsay..

  8. Lynn S11:41 PM

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful

  9. Love those colors & wish we could have seen that exhibit.

    1. Yes you have plan ahead make these Fall openings
      Check next time www.EVOOUPARIS.COM for Autumne exhibitions

  10. Allie8:35 AM

    Great post. Love your Opera Starry Night facade!

  11. Kathryn9:11 AM

    Oh, Carol, I LOVE that painting of the Opera House. You amaze me daily!!!

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