Edgar Degas: Danseuses en Blanc (c.1878)

Screenshot_2018-12-08 degas, edgar danseuses en blanc drawings sotheby's n09430lot58rn9en
Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917), Danseuses en Blanc (c.1878), Signed Degas (upper right), Pastel and gouache on joined paper, 20 7/8 by 25 3/8 in., 53 by 65.2 cm, Source: Sotheby’s
Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917), Danseuses en Blanc (c.1878), Signed Degas (upper right), Pastel and gouache on joined paper, 20 7/8 by 25 3/8 in., 53 by 65.2 cm, Source: Sotheby’s
 
 

Degas – Painter of the Ballet

 
In this sparklingly fresh work in pastel, Degas captures a group of four dancers in mid-flight as they step out from the wings. Their arms and legs extended in arabesque, their black neck ribbons, colorful headdresses and frothy white tutus are caught in the bright glow of the footlights. Before them stretches a broad expanse of empty stage and at the rear painted scenery flats vaguely suggest a landscape setting. Only rarely did Degas depict actual performances and here he gives us no precise information about the ballet or the dancers – their faces are hidden from view and no figure is seen in its entirety. Sotheby’s
 
 

6Screenshot_2018-12-08 degas, edgar danseuses en blanc drawings sotheby's n09430lot58rn9enEdgar Degas (1834 – 1917), Danseuses en Blanc (c.1878), Signed Degas (upper right), Pastel and gouache on joined paper, 20 7/8 by 25 3/8 in., 53 by 65.2 cm, Source: Sotheby’s.(detail).

 

“Dancers in White encapsulates

Degas’s unique vision of the strange poetry

and the pure enchantment of the dance.”

Sotheby’s

 

Japanese Influences: Quest For Unusual Viewpoints

…the bird’s eye view and cropped figures in the Japanese ukiyo-e prints by artists such as Hokusai (1760-1849) and Hiroshige (1797-1858) that were so admired by Degas and his contemporaries, provided refreshing alternatives to the single-point perspective idea of composition that had prevailed since the Renaissance.

The quest for unusual viewpoints – looking down on the stage from a box or frequently the view from the wings – recurs consistently in Degas’s highly innovative ballet scenes of the late 1870s and early 1880s. Breaking with all conventional notions of composition, these novel and daring pictorial structures allowed Degas to conflate the glamour of the performance on stage with vignettes of the more prosaic world behind the scenes. Sotheby’s

 

Click for Enlarged Detail:

Best viewed At Sunnyside
 
 

Details:

Thanks for Visiting 🙂

~Sunnyside

3 Comments Add yours

  1. A most beautiful work of art from a great artist for sure…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your visit and comment, FBC. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to AT SUNNYSIDE - WHERE TRUTH AND BEAUTY MEET Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s