The Faculty of Arts, in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria's Winter Masterpieces exhibition Degas: A New Vision is proud to present a four-part masterclass series on the life and art of Edgar Degas, one of the most recognizable grand masters of French modernism.

Event details

Edgar Degas. 'Finishing the arabesque' 1877
Edgar Degas. Finishing the arabesque 1877
Oil and essence, pastel on canvas 67.4 x 38 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris (RF 4040) © Musée d'Orsay,
Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
In partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria's exhibition Degas: A new vision, the Faculty of Arts is proud to present a four-part masterclass series on the life and art of Edgar Degas, one of the most recognizable grand masters of French modernism. Drawn from across the globe and with over 200 artworks, this exhibition represents one of the most internationally significant retrospectives of Degas, highlighting his influential contribution across the different mediums of painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and photography.

This masterclass will reflect the breadth and diversity of the exhibition as we explore the development of Degas' art from its beginnings. We will contextualise his work within the dramatic social and political change that occurred during his lifetime, which made Paris the centre of the art world, and inevitably provided the backdrop for his innovative and creative depictions. Join us as we revisit the much celebrated artist through a new lens, and consider him to be more than just a painter of pretty ballet dancers and frivolous café scenes.

Each session includes evening lectures by some of The University of Melbourne's finest scholars and NGV's senior curators, light refreshments and the privilege of exclusive after hours exhibition viewing, showcasing tailored pop-up talks and performances in the exhibition space.

Date and location

Faculty of Arts logo

Date: 18/07/2016 - 8/08/2016, 6.00pm - 8.30pm


NGV International
180 St Kilda Rd
VIC 3000

National Gallery of Victoria logo


Individual session: $60 Alumni & NGV Members /
$65 Non alumni & NGV Members
Series Pass: $220 Alumni & NGV Members /
$240 Non alumni & NGV Members
(Please note tickets are strictly limited)

Event sessions

Monday 18 July: Degas' Paris


  • Emeritus Professor Peter McPhee (The University of Melbourne): The Paris of Edgar Degas
  • Dr Ted Gott (National Gallery of Victoria): Attack of the Green Fairy?

Pop up talks:

  • Emeritus Professor Charles Sowerwine (The University of Melbourne): Representing the Feminine in Degas
  • Associate Professor Susan Foley (The University of Melbourne): Edgar Degas' Brothel Scenes

Monday 25 July: Degas' women


  • Dr Sylvia Sagona (The University of Melbourne): From Dancer to Courtesan: Prostitution in 19th century Paris
  • Dr Sophie Matthiesson (National Gallery of Victoria): Reality effects: Degas and the working woman

Pop up talks:

  • Dr Bertrand Bourgeois (The University of Melbourne): Degas: Painting and poetry
  • Susan van Wyk (National Gallery of Victoria): Photography: A private passion

Monday 1 August: Performance and movement


  • Professor Rachel Fensham (The University of Melbourne): Rendering movement and painting pretty clothes: Degas, the painter of dancing girls
  • Laurie Benson (National Gallery of Victoria): Snap, the frozen moment

Pop up talks:

  • Cathy Leahy (National Gallery of Victoria): Degas and the Café-concert
  • Alojz Babic (researcher at the National Gallery of Victoria): The Cotton Office: A Family Business of Intrigue

Monday 8 August: New markets, new visions


  • Professor Glyn Davis (Vice-Chancellor, The University of Melbourne): An artist meets a disruptive technology
  • Dr Christopher Marshall (The University of Melbourne): From 'petit rat' to grand masterpiece: Degas and the art market

Pop up talks:

  • David Challis (PhD Candidate, The University of Melbourne): Degas the global diaspora of French modernist art
  • Holly McGowan-Jackson (National Gallery of Victoria): Framing Degas


To see full abstracts and speaker biographies please

View the Masterclass program

More information

For more information please contact

Caterina Sciacca, Community Education Manager, Faculty of Arts

Phone: +61 3 8344 3996