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Toiling In The Artistic Trenches: Edgar Degas And His Ballerinas

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Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, Ballet Rehearsal, c. 1885–91. Oil on canvas, 18 7/8 x 34 5/8 in.
Yale University Art Gallery. Gift of Duncan Phillips, B.A. 1908.
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, Ballet Rehearsal, c. 1885–91. Oil on canvas, 18 7/8 x 34 5/8 in.

Ballerinas might appear to be the ultimate emblem of composed grace, but artist Edgar Degas knew that dance was hard work -- and he worked hard himself to capture it all in his now-iconic paintings and sketches of ballerinas. In our regular arts feature from NPR's Susan Stamberg, we go inside an exhibition of Edgar Degas' famous ballerinas at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.

[Music: "No. 02 Valse (Tempi di valse)" by Tchaikovsky from Swan Lake]

Photos: Degas Dancers

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