By all accounts, French Impressionist Edgar Degas (although he maintains he was a realist) was a private man. Hence, the natural question arises: what did he get up to in the privacy of his own home? He never married, rarely went out socially, and towards the end of his life severed some of his closest and oldest friendships during the Dreyfuss Affair years. One thing we know for sure was that he did a lot of sketching and compositions for his famous Degas paintings. And this winter (for the northern hemisphere folk), one special exhibition takes us behind the scenes.

The Portland Museum of Art will hold the exhibition “Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist” from February 23, 2012, to May 27, 2012. The exhibition is special because for the first time, a majority of Degas paintings and artwork from private collections will be exhibited publicly. The exhibition features more than 100 prints, drawings, photographs and pastels. It will also include several bronze casted sculptures, providing lucky viewers the chance to view the result of 80 years of dedicated collection. Particularly of note are cherished prints and drawings of friends and family, including intimate depictions of his father, his brother Achille, his housekeeper Sabine Neyt, an Italian niece and life-long friends Edouard Manet and Mary Cassatt.

As with every exhibition, curators and organisers look to impart a message. One theme from the exhibition is the influence of the artist’s private life on public Degas paintings. Hence a wide range of artworks that Degas collected will also be displayed, including photos of dancers behind the curtain at the Paris Opera, women dressing in their boudoirs, Japanese prints and copies of the Old Masters that he made on several study trips throughout his life. Additionally, a special group of 17 rare works from artists who knew and influenced him will also be included: this includes Paul Cézanne, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Giovanni Boldini.

Another layer to the exhibition includes the famous Degas painting, his Portrait of Alexis Rouart (1895). This work comes on loan from Scott Black, one of the major benefactors of the Portland Museum of Art. Another major benefactor, Les Otten, will also lend the famous Degas sculpture, Fourth position in front on the left leg (1882-1895). Not only is the past embraced, but the future as well. The exhibition will also display the artwork of Jane Sutherland, a noted modern New England artist whose paintings reflect the spirit of Degas.

We know it might be hard to make it to Portland, Oregon, and that’s why we have ensured that our gallery of Degas paintings are among the best on the internet. All the greatest ballerinas France had to offer are captured splendidly by Degas, and equally recreated by our group of talented and professional artists. All our oil painting reproductions are photographed, with high resolution images sent to you before anything is shipped. If you are unhappy with anything, you can ask for unlimited free changes and edits. This ensures you approve the painting before it is sent to you – a process as comprehensive as Degas himself.