This was originally a horizontal-format painting: the musicians in the orchestra pit at the centre and, on the stage in the background, the ballet dancers, with only the lower halves of their bodies visible. Degas later trimmed the canvas on both sides and extended it at the top. In the version thus revised, the focus on the musicians has widened to include the stage and its dancers. This work launches the long series of ballet depictions for which Degas is as well known today as he is for his unusual ways of framing his scenes.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .