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When Tony Ellwood, Director of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) announced 'Degas: A New Vision' as the main exhibition for the 2016 Winter Masterpieces, I gasped with joy so much so that he was happy to note the emotions in the audience.
‘Degas: A New Vision’ is the NGV’s latest exhibition part of the Winter Masterpieces for 2016. Curated by former Director of the Louvre and Degas expert, Henri Loyrette who has spent forty years studying Degas, the exhibition features more than 200 works in the largest Degas show to ever be staged in Australia.
The exhibition features Degas’ exquisite paintings, sculpture, drawings, pastels and photographs and showcases some of his most famous works including exquisite ballet dancer scenes, poetic bronze sculptures, nudes and drawings of Parisian life. It is the most complex Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition for the NGV and features works collated from over 40 cities around the world drawn from more than 66 collections.
Some of Degas’ most famous masterworks are presented including the bronze sculpture The little fourteen-year-old dancer, 1879–81, and In a café (The Absinthe drinker), c. 1875–76. World-renowned paintings, never-before-seen in Australia, are also exhibited such as the celebrated ballet paintings The rehearsal, c. 1874, and Finishing the arabesque, 1877, and Degas’ monumental portrait The Bellelli family, 1867.
Degas was drawn to explore movement that was precise and disciplined, such as that of racehorses and ballet dancers, and absorbed a diverse range of influences from Japanese prints to Italian Mannerism.
It is so fitting and so beautiful to see them photographed next to the little fourteen-year-old dancer, a masterpiece of this exhibition.
If you are thinking of attending 'Degas: A New Vision' with kids, grab a copy of 'Dancing with Degas' before going the exhibition. This book has been written by the NGV especially for kids to provide them with a great intro to the exhibition and will help them relate to the exhibition when they attend.
If you can choose a quiet time during the week to avoid the crowds and try to read out the kids signs next to the artwork to aspire your young art lovers. It's never too early to introduce children to art!
If you are going solo, put aside a few hours to soak up the 200 works of this exquisite exhibition.