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Discover Degas & Miss La La

Until 1 September 2024

Sunley Room

Degas’s 'Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando' takes centre stage in this exhibition that sheds light on this work with newly discovered information about the painting and its sitter.

This radical Impressionist masterwork records an extraordinary moment and features a remarkable figure – the circus artist Miss La La, or Anna Albertine Olga Brown (1858‒1945). 

In 1879 Degas made the talented aerialist the subject of one of his most original and arresting paintings, capturing her in one of her most striking and perilous acts. Suspended from a rope held between her teeth by a leather mouthpiece, Miss La La is hoisted up towards the ceiling of the Cirque Fernando

Featuring new material, from rare, previously untraced drawings of her by Degas, to entirely unpublished photographic portraits of Miss La La, the exhibition turns the spotlight on her, and on the painting, telling their story for the first time at the Gallery.

This is the third in our series of ‘Discover’ exhibitions which explore lesser-known masterpieces in a new light. Other exhibitions in this series include Discover Manet & Eva Gonzalès and Discover Liotard & The Lavergne Family Breakfast.

Detail from Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, 'Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando', 1879 © The National Gallery, London

Ticket prices


Please book a free Gallery entry ticket to gain admission to the National Gallery. We encourage you to book ahead of your visit.


Exhibition supported by

The Thompson Family Charitable Trust


The Sunley Room exhibition programme is supported by the Bernard Sunley Foundation




'ingenious and thrilling show'
★★★★★ The Guardian

'a scene-stealing hit'
★★★★★ The Times

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