Edgar Degas Paintings

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Edgar Degas was a brilliant impressionist artist who incorporated an array of form and movement within his work.

While the artist referred to himself as a classic realist artist, it is evident that he is indeed a forefather of Impressionism. Other artist with a similar style to Degas include Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet. These three artists are immensely seen as the forefathers of the new art movement that changed the course of history. Dance Opera continues with the classic ballerina theme evident throughout the artist’s work. Degas is most noted as the artist who created hundreds of stunning oil on canvas and pastel on paper pieces that illuminate the beauty of ballet. The artist adored incorporating the stunning movements of ballerinas into his work as he felt they held a majestic melody to them.

It was the artist’s duty to reconstruct his view of society onto the canvas. He sent endless messages to his viewers, uprising ideas of form, significance, and emotions. Degas was a brilliant artist as he was able to upraise endless emotions and feelings within the viewer. Alongside, he controlled their attention and placed them wherever he felt was necessary. The Dance Opera holds a similar feel to the piece, as four stunning ballerinas fill parts of the canvas. Other similar pieces by Degas include The Dance Class, Dancer Bowing With Bouquet, Dancers In Green, Three Ballet Dancers, and Blue Dancers. These pieces hold a similar stunning element to them without overpowering the canvas in any way. They allow the viewer to gaze around the piece, rather than focusing on a particular area.

Within the painting, the ballerina near the left side of the frame steals the viewer’s focus. This character is much closer than the others and is on her own. Her dark features distinguish her from the rest of the ballerinas. She is dressed in a classic romantic tutu French ballerinas wore during the 18th century. The warm blue dress falls towards the bottom of the canvas in endless puffy layers of chiffon. Degas adored depicting the costumes of the ballerinas as he put endless effort into showcasing the gentle fabric. The light blue fabric darkens near the back, as the light disappears. It seems as if Degas has placed a light source to the right of the piece to organize the perspective.

Degas is known for producing off centre pieces. This is evident within the painting as the viewer looks onto it from the opposite corner of the room. This allows for the artist to truly capture the scene and bring forth each character. Another group of ballerinas stand huddled together near the back wall holding onto the bar. One ballerina lifts her leg on the bar, opposite from the viewer. The girl in front of her looks towards the large window, as her body is covered by her colleague. Another girl stands to the left of the group holding onto the bar with one hand while she points her opposite foot.

The ballerina gently lifts her head and looks onto the prominent woman with dark features. An emotion fills the canvas as if the young ballerina is judging her. Whether due to her talent or social class, it seems as if the ballerina with dark features is on her own. It’s difficult to figure out the exact message the artist is attempting to send. The viewer is captivated by the scene as they question what is truly occurring. The remainder of the painting is covered in shades of brown to showcase the walls and floor. It is unknown if Degas was actually in the studio looking at the ballerinas, or if he produced the painting based on his imagination.

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