Wine & Art - Miss La La with a glass of Peaches
Updated: Feb 14
Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando by Edgar Degas paired with a glass of Peaches by Manon. It's another orange wine, but this time an interesting blend from Adelaide Hills.
This painting of Miss La La, normally on show at the National Gallery in London, shows the performer suspended in the air, clenching down on the end of a piece of rope whilst being hoisted up towards the ceiling - which she would normally do whilst spinning!
Born Anna Olga Albertina Brown, she was a mixed-race circus performer who became well known for the strength of her teeth! She performed at the Cirque Fernando in Paris where the artist Degas saw her perform on a number of occasions.
Although this particular act might sound impressive, this was just a warm up act of hers - she was best known for being hung upside down from a trapeze whilst clenching her teeth on a chain to support the weight of a boy..then a woman...then a man...and finally a 150 pound cannon!
I love how we are part of the audience here, looking up at Olga performing, and by Degas placing her off-centre gives it an almost photographic quality to the painting. It also draws our eyes to the architecture of the circus; it's beautiful colour and decor.
Olga started perform at the age of nine and even came to London where she starred at the Royal Aquarium, a now lost events hall on Tothill Street not far from Westminster Abbey.
Degas was a French impressionist artist and famous for his depictions of dancers and performers.
A Dance Class painted between 1873–1876 which hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, is probably one of his best known, and shows his friend and ballet-master Jules Perrot taking a lesson. I adore this painting, and it really feels you are there in the room watching a rehearsal - A few of my favourite details include the girl trying to reach an itch on her back! Others appear less interested in practice, or perhaps they’ve had their time and ready to go home.
I've paired this wonderful painting with another glass of orange wine, this time from Adelaide Hills, Australia.
As well as a beautiful sunset orange colour, it's aromatic with notes of, yes, you guessed it peaches, a touch of spice and a linear acidity. The colour comes from a bit of skin contact and it's then aged in old barrels to make a pretty impressive wine.
It's quite an unusual blend of Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Savagnin & Chardonnay and I would definitely recommend if you're up for trying something a little different!
Heard in London