The Dance Class

The Dance Class
The Dance Class
Artist Edgar Degas
Year 1879
Medium Oil-on-panel painting
Location National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dimensions 32.88 x 30.38 in
83.5 x 77.2 cm
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The Dance Class is a painting by the French impressionist, Edgar Degas, which is now in the possession of the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York. It was bequeathed to the Metropolitan in 1986 by Mrs. Harry Bingham.

It is oil on canvas painting, measuring 32.88 x 30.38 inches, which Degas completed in 1874. The work was commissioned from Degas by art collector Jean-Baptiste Faure.


The painting includes several young ballerinas in a room. Some are sitting, some are standing, while one dancer in the center of the painting performs for the male teacher. The male is Jules Perrot, a ballet teacher who was renowned throughout Europe at the time.

In the background, several of the students’ mothers are looking on. A large mirror on the wall reflects some other dancers. In the left foreground, there is a wooden music stand with sheet music. Underneath the stand, a double bass is shown lying on the floor.

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