Degas finds refuge at the Walker Art Gallery

Liverpool, 2 July 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

A sculpture by Edgar Degas, entitled La Masseuse, has found a permanent home at the Walker Art Gallery, thanks to the donation-in-payment system put in place by the Arts Council England. The sculpture, which is one of the three created by Degas, was the property of Lucian Freud, who donated it to the nation upon his death in 2011.

The Walker Art Gallery was chosen as the recipient of the work after a contest was launched between museums and galleries in the United Kingdom. La Masseuse is the first of Dega’s sculptures to represent two figures, and it has now been added to the Walker Art Gallery’s collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works, joining works including Degas’ painting Women Ironing .

Xanthe Brooke, the gallery’s European art curator, commented: “La Masseuse is a true treasure for any gallery and we are thrilled to be adding it to our collection. Degas’ sculptures were as ground-breaking as his paintings. He thought of them rather like his sketches or drawings, as a way of developing a composition. Displaying La Masseuse alongside Woman Ironing (the only painting from his laundresses series on public display in the UK), provides a unique insight into Degas’ genius for depicting human, and in particular female, endeavour. We’re very grateful to Arts Council England for allocating the sculpture to the Walker Art Gallery, where it will be appreciated by an enthusiastic and diverse audience.”