Whether performing, rehearsing or at rest, dancers never ceased to fascinate Degas, providing him with endless motifs. In this composition exhausted ballerinas have just come offstage, and are pictured while stretching, resting, or using a fan. The artist made multiple studies of each individual figure, combining them in this highly appealing work. Here, Degas applied pastel powders in thick layers; its warm tones of colour lend the composition its vibrancy.
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