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Edgar Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Georges Seurat and many other artists were deeply influenced by the circus which was in its hey-day during the last years of the 19th century.

The permanent circuses set up in europe during the second half of the 19th century brought together under one roof the many fairground acts which had provided amusement for centuries, including animal menageries, gymnasts, jugglers, conjurers and skilled horsemen. Acts good enough to attract and keep audiences could assure their performers good salaries, status and fame - for circus acts toured around the continent, heralded by a blaze of advance publicity.

An Introduction to the 19th Century Circus Pierre Auguste Renoir: Circus Paintings
Georges Seurat: Le Cirque (The Circus) Toulouse-Lautrec: Circus Sketches and Prints

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