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Green Dancer is a pastel and gouache drawing which sits amongst the impressive collection of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid
The original title of this Degas artwork was Danseuses basculant (Danseuses vertes) and it has been translated into English as Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green).
It is believed to have been completed somewhere between 1877 and 1879. Dating some of Degas’ work has proved difficult due to the way in which he documented his career.
This composition uses Degas’ method of cropping elements of the scene. Degas produced endless ballerina paintings and pastel drawings during his career – it was a huge interest of his and also seemed to suit his artistic style which married the movements of impressionism and realism.
This particular drawing combines a group of ballet dancers is during a performance. In other paintings, he might catch them preparing for a dance backstage.
The main focal point of this composition remains uncropped and is displayed in full length. Alternatively coloured dancers stand to the back of this artwork to provide a contrast to the bright greens of the dancer’s attire in the foreground.