Edgar DegasSelf-portrait© Musée d'Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
Italy featured largely throughout Degas’ career – his paternal family lived there and he found a source of inexhaustible inspiration in early Renaissance Italian artists such as Giotto, Signorelli and Botticelli - and yet he has never been the subject of a major exhibition in this country since the wonderful exhibition Degas e l'Italia
at the Villa Medici in autumn 1984 by Henri Loyrette, then a curator at the Musée d’Orsay. This exhibition intends to remedy this omission. It will present works from the Musée d’Orsay’s Degas collection, and will include the exceptional loan of The Bellelli Family [La Famille Belleli]
, which owns the most magnificent collection of Degas’ works in the world. While the focus will be on the links between Degas and Italy, the exhibition will nevertheless encompass the artist’s entire career, from his academic training with former students of Ingres to his most daring aesthetic experiments at the dawn of the 20th century, and will of course include the “Impressionist” years around 1880.
Xavier Rey, curator, Musée d'Orsay