Edgar Degas, Ballerina
|Artist:||Degas, Edgar (1834 - 1917)|
Unique Original Pencil and Pastel Drawing
|Image Size:||11 in x 9 in (27.9 cm x 22.9 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||15 in x 13 in|
|Framed Size:||approx. 19 1/8 in x 16 1/8 in (48.6 cm x 41 cm)|
|Signed:||Hand signed by Edgar Degas (Paris, 1834 - Paris, 1917) in pencil in the lower right.|
|Edition:||Unique original drawing.|
|Condition:||This piece is in very good condition.|
|Gallery Price: |
|SOLD, but we have similar works in our Degas collection!|
|Historical Description of This Work:|
The ballerinas that Degas bequeathed to us are amongst the most popular images in 19th century art, and this exquisite drawing is no exception. This fascinating glimpse into Edgar Degas' creative process reveals the lovely image of the bust of a ballet dancer. Degas has visualized his thought process in an effortless manner, creating a graceful dancer, poised as if preparing to perform. With her slender neck, thin waist, and lithe arms, this dancer is the epitome of beauty and grace. She rests her chin daintily upon her shoulder, with one arm behind her back and one arm lifted to the side, as if about to gracefully spring into action. This momentary pause in her preparation allows us to study the dancer's thoughtful pose and splendid costume, highlighted by hints of lime green and white pastel hues. Though the dancer turns her head askew and denies us a frontal view of her face, we get a sense of her focus and concentration. Degas reveals this dancer as an individual, as she has not yet assumed her role as an ethereal creature and is captured in a fleeting moment of preparation. Representing Degas' long held fascination with the figure of the ballerina, this image offers a sensitive example of the artist's adept handling of color and form. This work clearly exemplifies the delicate gestural quality of Degas' lines for which he is so renowned, while the use of pencil and white and green pastel against a crème-colored wove paper gives this work a more personal, earthy quality, evoking a deeper connection with the artist and his creative process.
This unique original pencil and pastel drawing is hand signed by Edgar Degas
(Paris, 1834 - Paris, 1917) in pencil in the lower right.
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Edgar Degas Biography
French painter and sculptor, one of the outstanding figures of Impressionism. Edgar Degas exhibited at seven out of the eight Impressionist exhibitions, but he stood somewhat aloof from the other members of the group and his work was Impressionist only in certain limited aspects. Like the other Impressionists, Degas aimed to give the suggestion of spontaneous and unplanned scenes and a feeling of movement, and like them, he was influenced by photography (he often cut off figures in the manner of a snapshot) and by Japanese color prints (he imitated their use of unfamiliar viewpoints). However, he had little interest in landscape (he did not paint out of doors) and therefore did not share the Impressionist concern for rendering the effects of changing light and atmosphere. The appearance of spontaneity and accidental effects in his work was an appearance only; in reality his pictures were carefully composed. He said that 'Even when working from nature, one has to compose' and that 'No art was ever less spontaneous than mine'.
Degas always worked much in pastel and when his sight began to fail in the 1880s his preference for this medium increased. He also began modeling in wax at this time, and during the 1890s -- as his sight worsened -- he devoted himself increasingly to sculpture, his favorite subjects being horses in action, women at their toilet, and nude dancers. These figures were cast in bronze after his death. For the last 20 years of his life Degas was virtually blind and led a reclusive life. He was a formidable personality and his complete devotion to his art made him seem cold and aloof (as far as is known, he never had any kind of romantic involvement). His genius compelled universal respect among other artists. Degas drawings and sculptures continue to be exhibited around the world. However, Renoir ranked him above Rodin as a sculptor, and in 1883 Camille Pissarro wrote that he was 'certainly the greatest artist of our epoch'. He was the first of the Impressionist group to achieve recognition and his reputation as one of the giants of 19th-century art has endured undiminished. His influence on 20th-century art has been rich and varied-on artists whom he knew personally, such as Sickert, and on later admirers. He was a superlative draughtsman and his work has appealed greatly to other outstanding draughtsmen, such as Hockney and Picasso. His mastery of pastel has been an inspiration to Kitaj.
Chilvers, Osborne, and Farr, The Oxford Dictionary of Art, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, 1997. p. 154
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