Edgar Degas

Dancer Stretching by Edgar Degas

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Rolled Canvas
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By 1872 Degas had begun to specialize in genre scenes of women at work, especially music-hall performers and ballet dancers. In his paintings of these subjects he often included background figures pausing from tedious labors to stretch or yawn, as if to underline his goal of capturing unedited glimpses of daily life. It has been suggested that the Kimbell drawing might have originated as a study for a never-realized detail in one of these multifigured paintings.Degas, who signed works only when he sold or exhibited them (and rarely did either), never signed this particular drawing. But the executors of his estate stamped imitation signatures in red ink on all the works left in his studio, and Dancer Stretching was among them.