Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas 1834 - 1917
Graphite, black chalk and white highlights on laid paper, squared for transfer 242 x 313mm
Bequeathed by A.S.F. Gow, through the National Art Collections Fund, 1978
Collections record: PD.23-1978
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Degas made many drawings of dancers in this pose. The earliest was probably drawn around 1879, and relates to a painting entitled The Dance Lesson (c.1880, Sterling and Francine Clerk Institute, Williamstown, Mass.), one of the first ballet scenes for which Degas adopted an extended horizontal compositional format. This drawing is thought to date from the same period, however, the position of the dancer’s head, leg and tutu relate more closely to another composition in a similar format, now in Yale University Art Gallery, which Degas painted at least five years later.