Discover Degas & Miss La La Exhibition Catalogue

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Description

Accompanies the exhibition at the National Gallery, London, 6 June–1 September 2024.

 

In the winter of 1878–9, star acrobat and aerialist Miss La La, born Anna Albertine Olga Brown, took Paris by storm with her extraordinary feats of strength. Edgar Degas made her the subject of one of his most striking works, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando (1879), now among the National Gallery’s best-loved Impressionist masterpieces.   

 

This book looks at the painting afresh by drawing on new research and discoveries, including previously unpublished sketches by Degas, as well as photographic portraits. As the first in-depth study to focus on Miss La La herself (the daughter of a white Prussian mother and an African American father) it reveals new information about her life and career. Chapters discuss the development of Degas’s painting, from his rapid sketches done in situ to accomplished preparatory drawings and pastels, and the picture’s afterlife. The publication also examines the image and perception of the acrobat in 1870s Paris, as well as Degas’s complex attitudes to ethnicity in relation to his own family background, as the son of a Creole mother (of European descent) originating from New Orleans. 

Richly illustrated and providing groundbreaking scholarship, Discover Degas & Miss La La explores the fascinating stories behind this arresting painting and its remarkable sitter.   

Author

Anne Robbins is Curator of Paintings at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. 

Chiara Di Stefano is Associate Curator of Post 1800 Paintings at the National Gallery, London. 

With contributions by Laurie Fierstein, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Denise Murrell, Sterre Overmars, Isolde Pludermacher and Christopher Riopelle.

ISBN9781857097146
PublisherNational Gallery Global
PublishedMay 2024
FormatPaperback with flaps
Pages136
Dimensions250 x 210 mm
Colour illustrations108
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