At the National Gallery, the World of Colour of Degas

It hasn’t left Scotland since the early years of the XX Century, the most important collection of works by Edgar Degas in the United Kingdom, donated to the city of Glasgow in 1944 by shipping magnate Sir William Burrell, along with another 9.000 pieces, including paintings, sculptures, tapestries and decorative glass. For the first time on display in London, pastels, oil paintings and precious drawings offer a fascinating glimpse at the work of the impressionist painter, in dialogue with other prestigious loans and selected works from the National Gallery. At the centre of the exhibition, the experiments of Degas with colour, particularly pastels, which give his compositions inimitable light effects and textures, creating an innovative language capable of capturing, in a highly original way, the subtleties of urban reality at the dawn of the modern era. All of the most celebrated subjects of the painter can be seen: ballerinas, horse-races and the mysterious intimate world of women. From the glittering high society and slums of the French capital, the works demonstrate the evolution of a unique style, born out of the synthesis of varying techniques and inspirations: from Japanese prints to ancient decorative art, from the newly-born art of photography to oil paints and pastels. Degas developed a real predilection for this technique, especially in the final years of his career: with brilliant colours, he created brilliantly dynamic compositions, as fragile and ephemeral as they were charming.
Francesca Grego - © 2017 for Bvlgari Hotel London