As a voyeur and (some would say a misogynist) Edgar Degas (1834-1917) had a strange relationship with women in tutus and corsets: When English painter Walter Sickert recounted Degas’ painting methods, which reportedly included spying on girls through keyholes and half-closed doors, the British press accused the Frenchman of creating ‘pornography’. But what Degas lacked in gentlemanly ways in everyday life, he gained in audacity and artistic finesse, painting and sculpting his way into modernity by redefining how naked women were portrayed. He relaxed his models’ postures, adopted plunging angles and delicately, almost lovingly, depicted female contours in the most beautiful fashion.
With the ‘Degas et le nu’ exhibition this spring, the Musée d’Orsay showcases a rich selection of the Impressionist’s paintings, sculptures and pastels, covering Degas’ entire career.
If you’ve not been to the Musée d’Orsay since its renovations in 2011, this exhibition is the perfect opportunity for you to check out the new lay-out, which includes wonderful new sections devoted to realism, Impressionism and post-Impressionism.