Degas: Passion for Perfection

Degas: Passion for Perfection


November 17, 2018

3:00 PM-4:30 PM


225 South St
Williamstown, MA 01267

Exhibition on Screen journeys from the streets of Paris to the heart of a superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’s works is the most representative in Britain. With exclusive access to rare and diverse works, this film tells a fascinating story of Degas’s pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learned from studying the past masters.

Sometimes frustrated by his own failings, Degas was consumed by obsessive principles and failing eyesight, but his determination to capture everyday life was evident in every mark he made. Never fully satisfied, Degas kept many of his drawings and sculptures private during his lifetime—but now, through close examination, they can be seen as some of the most beautifully detailed and expressive works in the modern era. Using written accounts by friends and commentators, and the narration of letters written by Degas himself, this film reveals a more complex truth behind one of the most influential French artists of the late nineteenth century and serves as an exploration of the complex workings of Degas’s artistic mind.

“Art is not a matter of what you see, but what you make other people see.” —Edgar Degas

Run time: 85 minutes. All ticket sales are non-refundable. 

Image: Edgar Degas, Self Portrait with Evariste de Valernes (1816–96) (detail), c.1865. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France / Bridgeman Images