Edgar Degas, The Ballet Class (cropped), 1871-1874, oil paint,

Exhibition on Screen is proud to present its latest cinematic offering, Degas: Passion for Perfection opening in cinemas across Australia from 6 June 2019.

The film journeys from a superb exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to Paris and Italy, where the artist, Edgar Degas, spent his formative years and taught himself to paint.

Degas: Passion for Perfection offers a unique insight into Degas’ personal and creative life,

looking at his relationship with the impressionist movement, fascination with dance, and

struggle with his eyesight, which in time would prevent him from making art altogether.

The film uncovers the fascinating story of his obsessive pursuit for perfection both through

experimentation with new techniques and the study of past masters, including Italian

Renaissance artists and near-contemporaries such as Ingres and Delacroix.

Edgar Degas, Self Portrait with Evariste de Valernes (cropped), oil paint, 1816-96

French historian Daniel Halévy describes the artist as “always working, searching, almost

always dissatisfied, he kept the greater part of his art hidden in boxes out of which he

scarcely ever took anything...except what he was forced to sell to enable him to live.”

Working through the film’s premise about the artist is something Director and Executive Producer of Exhibition On Screen, Phil Grabsky, says is still difficult.

“Most people would have heard the name (Degas), and most people would associate him with ballet dancers. Most people in the art world or interested in art would know he is an impressionist – and that’s it. So the number one offering is who is this artist – and our film are always a biographical offering. And to really look in depth at their craft.”

Looking at the impressionists and how different they are as a group, Phil says Degas didn’t really consider himself an “impressionist”, but was just utterly passionate for artistic perfection.

Youtube: OFFICIAL TRAILER | Degas: Passion for Perfection (2018)

“He got up every morning to try to end the day, a slightly better painter than he started it. Or better painter than he started it. He didn’t really seem to care too much if anyone saw the paintings. And many of his best masterpieces were on his studio floor…he genuinely was so self-absorbed.”

“I think the main point of the film is, number 1, that he is one of the best-known names and least known artists. And for whatever reason, people really don’t have a sense of him. Or if they do, it’s very skewed towards the idea that he was withdrawn and cantankerous.”

Phil says what the film shows is much more well-rounded than that. That Degas is “funny, and playful…highly intelligent and could be difficult.”

Unafraid of the difficult and complex characters of the art world, be see to see Degas: Passion for Perfection by Exhibition on Screen at Palace Cinemas!


Dates: Opens nationally on 6 June

Location: Palace Cinemas nationwide

Times: Multiple times. See Palace Cinema's website for full details

Palace Cinema Website