Journey from the streets of Paris to the heart of a superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of art by Edgar Degas is the most representative in Britain. With exclusive access to rare works, this film tells a fascinating story of Degas’s pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learned from past masters.

Frustrated by his own failings, including his eyesight, Degas was nevertheless determined to capture everyday life, as seen in every mark he made. Never satisfied, Degas kept many of his drawings and sculptures in private. But now they are known as some of the most beautifully detailed and expressive works in the modern era. Through the writings of friends and commentators, and Degas’s own letters, Passion for Perfection explores the complex story behind one of the most influential French artists of the late 19th century.

“Art is not a matter of what you see, but what you make other people see.” —Edgar Degas

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David Bickerstaff
Running Time
90 minutes
Digital, Color