At the turn of the twentieth century, the circumstances of the changing modern world were visible on the stage of the Paris ballet. Edgar Degas became a regular visitor to the ballet at the Paris Opera, which attracted his interest in classical beauty and modern life. His studies of ballet for four decades have inspired generations of artists on this subject.
Some artists, such as Degas and Auguste Rodin, portrayed dancers as models, conveying their movements and innovative costumes. Other artists, including Jean-Louis Forein and Dame Laura Knight, studied dancers as artists who catered to both public and private audiences, illustrating the intimate moments between productions.