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Talks & Ideas

Franco-Scottish Society (Edinburgh): "Pretty Costumes and rendering movement" - Degas’ pretext for painting dancers?

Wednesday 26 January 2022 16:15-18:15


The French Institute in Scotland is delighted to partner with the Franco-Scottish Society (Edinburgh branch) and host their series of talks taking place at the Institute. Please note, those events are accessible to FSS and IFE members only.



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to get access to this series of talks!


Talk: Agnes Ness, "Pretty Costumes and rendering movement" - Degas’ pretext for painting dancers?

Wednesday 26 January 2022 at 4:15pm
On-site at the Institute


In French but we gladly accept questions in English

FOR FSS and IFE MEMBERS ONLY, free admission
Please note that wearing a face-covering is mandatory in the space


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About the talk
In this presentation I shall consider when Degas began to paint dancers and how he developed this interest over the years. I shall speak about his attention to the vivid and intense colours of the dancers’ costumes as well as how he portrayed their movement: not simply of the body itself but also the head, arms, hands legs and feet.

I shall also discuss how Degas experimented with the actual composition of the paintings to give an unusual view of the same subject and demonstrate this with reference to specific works. I shall cover many of the techniques Degas used: oil, pastel, gouache and even photography. I hope that together we shall discover some unusual aspects of Degas’ preoccupation with this subject.




Access Details
Institut français d’Ecosse, Salle Emilienne Moreau-Evrard (1st Floor)
West Parliament Square
Edinburgh EH1 1RF
The IFE and its Salle Emilienne Moreau-Evrard are fully accessible with step-free access.

Face coverings are mandatory to move around the building. A one-way system is in place throughout the building with an entrance via George IV Bridge only and exit via West Parliament Square. Hand sanitizers are also available in the building.
Find out more about what we are doing to keep you safe here.

Institut Français Écosse 2021