The Dance Lesson by French artist Edgar Degas.The original is an oil painting on canvas, created c. 1879. The painting is the first of a series of about 40 pictures that Degas painted in this horizontal, frieze-like format.It measures 38 by 88 centimetres (15 in × 35 in).
To the far left is a double bass with an exhausted dancer wearing a bright orange shawl sitting on it. There was also an open violin-case, which although painted out, is still visible. In the centre of the painting is a dancer in a pink shawl sitting on a chair with another dancer, turned away, standing just behind her adjusting the dark coloured sash of her dress. To the far right, at the back of the room, is a group of dancers practising their moves in the light from a large window.
The painting was carefully composed and shows the inspiration Degas drew from Japanese prints, with figures deliberately placed off-centre or cut off at unexpected angles and the large expanse of floor which appears to tilt upwards.
Artist: Edgar Degas
Nationality: French, 834 – 1917
Size: overall: 38 x 88 cm (14 15/16 x 34 5/8 in.) framed: 59.7 x 108.3 x 5.1 cm (23 1/2 x 42 5/8 x 2 in.)
Location: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Collection of: Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon 1995.47.6