Later in his career, Degas had altered his portraiture style, with this being amongst his finest from that period.
This artwork features a favoured composition for Degas in the formation of his modelling ballerinas. He would continue this method of grouping dancers throughout the 1890s, constantly experimenting with colour upon the same theme.
There was another painting titled Blue Dancers which is included here. Artist Degas would typically paint or sketch in the same direction as his ballerinas would stretch and twist. He discovered this technique ensured a greater lifelike depiction.
Dancers in Blue, 1890 was one of his later ballet dancer paintings. By this stage he had moved away from some of his artistic choices for his dancers that he used earlier in his career. For example, he would include content around the individual dancer's backgrounds and also the angles from which they may be viewed in the crowd.
By this stage, his dancers would lose their individuality and the backdrops used would be subtler and generic. By now he would also increasingly work from memory and was not as frequent a visitor to the Opera as he had been.
Dancers in Blue, Blue Dancers and Green Dancer all make use of his symbolist work, with a cool dominant tone based around blues or greens. Degas frequently returned to these colours throughout his different ballerina series.
It was Venetian artists whose influence brought in warmer tones for some of his other ballerina paintings. His time studying in Italy had left an imprint on his work that lasted throughout his life.
By the late 1890s Degas became more respected and more confident as a result. This enabled him to draw in a greater experimentation into this theme of his work. Dancers, 1898, underlines this with a loosely rendered view of ballerinas preparing to dance backst§age.
By the turn of the century, Degas' eyesight was significantly deteriorating. His style again changed, to a more colourful palette similar to Fauvists of that time. He also reduced detail, approaching an abstract form that he would have found easier to produce bearing in mind his health issues.
As a keen art collector, some from his own collection may have provided this inspiration for bright colour. Gauguin was there, with Matisse also someone he admired.