Miss La La au Cirque Fernando (1879)

Degas, Edgar (1834-1917)

Miss La La au Cirque Fernando (Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando)
Oil on canvas, 117.2 × 77.5 cm
National GalleryLondon

The Cirque Fernando was built in 1875 near the Place Pigalle in Paris, close to where Degas lived. He saw Miss La La perform there several times. Originally named Olga, she was a mixed-race circus performer famous for her feats of strength. Here, she is suspended by her teeth as she is hoisted up to the roof of the circus by a rope on a pulley. Her other acts included hanging upside down from a trapeze while clenching a chain, which supported a firing cannon, between her teeth. Degas places us among the audience, looking up at the spectacle above. Painting an acrobat allowed Degas to combine his interest in modern life with his fascination with complicated poses. He made a number of preparatory studies in various media, paying particular attention to the complex construction of the roof, which fills the painting. The picture was shown at the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition in Paris in 1879. (NG)


Degas, Edgar (1834-1917)
Miss Lala au Cirque Fernando
Tate BritainLondon




Renoir, Auguste (1841-1919)
Acrobates au cirque Fernando
Art Institute of ChicagoChicago



Seurat, Georges (1859-1891)
Le Cirque
Musée d’OrsayParis



Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de (1864-1901)
Au Cirque Fernando: L’Écuyère
Art Institute of ChicagoChicago



See also:

Lala, Miss (1858-?) | Montmartre | Paris (France)