behind the curtain ballet


Henri Gervex was a French painter who studied under Alexandre Cabanel, Pierre-Nicolas Brisset and Eugène Fromentin (Eugène Fromentin, member of the Academy of Classical Arts in the second half of the 19th century). At the beginning of his career, he painted mythological scenes mainly in the academic style. From 1877 he used a more relaxed style, taking inspiration from contemporary life. He created many nude female figures. Gervais mingled with the Impressionists, whom they met in a coffee shop in the Nouvelle Athènes neighborhood (now the 9th arrondissement of Paris). His influence as a member of the jury was instrumental in the entry of his friend Manet into the salon. He was also a friend of Degas and a loyal companion of Renoir. He also appeared in Dance at the Moulin de la Galette ( Dance at the Moulin de la Galette ) in 1876 as the model for the male character in Renoir’s The Swing .

Today we present one of his crayon drawings in which you can see how Degas influenced him in terms of technique and ballet themes (Degas loved crayons). It’s a very heartwarming scene; the dancers peek at the audience before the performance. Maybe she’s looking for someone? Or is she just curious about the audience?

Henri Gervais was closely associated with the Impressionists. If you want to know about them too, you can check out our Impressionist Notepad in the “DailyArt Daily Art Store”.

Side note: Want to compare Gervais and Degas? Check out the most beautiful ballerina Degas ever painted. <3

72 x 59.3 cm

private collection

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