Monday, March 16, 2009

Edgar Degas

Impressionism. Love it or hate it, it made it's mark on art history. With Degas, ballerinas dominated a number of his works and even though the subject matter is not my cup of tea, this painting engages me on some level. If you were to remove the figure's upper bodies, this would appear as a mere landscape based on color and shapes in the design. However, adding the figures affects our psyches and start us wondering how they relate to their environment. This painting seems to integrate the two subjects seemlessly. One thing that makes this piece pop for me is the dark contour lines of the figures. Making them seem almost graphic in nature, these back lines accentuate the contours and shadows and set the figures apart from their surrounding environment. Without them, they would most likely blend into the background and be lost in the barrage of colors and brush strokes. Where to use this technique? I for one will keep it in the back of my mind.


  1. I think that this is one of Degas weaker works. The background is like a whole seperate painting, and the ballerina's skirts are too close to the flowerbed in texture and color.

  2. I agree with Pat...not one of Degas strongest, although I like the palette. I'm really enjoying your blog, by the way. Most informative. Keep sharing.