Edgar Degas
Miss Lala at the Cirque Fernando 1879

Artwork details

Edgar Degas 1834–1917
Miss Lala at the Cirque Fernando
Miss Lala au Cirque Fernando
Date 1879
Medium Pastel on paper
Dimensions Support: 610 x 476 mm
frame: 750 x 620 x 60 mm
Acquisition Presented by Samuel Courtauld 1933
Not on display

Display caption

This is one of a sequence of pastels and drawings, many of which were executed on the spot, which were preparatory studies for an oil painting of the same subject now in the collection of the National Gallery, London. Miss Lala was a circus acrobat whose star turn involved being hoisted to the roof suspended by her teeth. Degas very much enjoyed popular entertainments, and executed many studies of dancers and singers. It seems that he respected, and possibly sympathised with, performers who were engaged in disciplined and strenous physical activity.

August 2004

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