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Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando is an 1879 oil-on-canvas painting by French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas. The mixed-race acrobat caused a sensation when she performed at the Cirque Fernando in Montmartre, Paris. In this painting, she is shown suspended from the rafters of the circus dome by a rope clenched between her teeth. Degas sought out such striking modern subjects, concentrating on figures in arresting poses; he may have also been seeking to emulate paintings by Italian artists such as Tiepolo in painting a highly foreshortened figure. In January 1879, he made a series of drawings at the Cirque Fernando, including a pastel study of Miss La La, now in the Tate's collection, which culminated in this painting. The viewer sees the spectacle as the audience would have done, gazing up at the daring feat taking place above. The painting is now in the collection of the National Gallery in London.Painting credit: Edgar Degas

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