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Edgar Degas showcases the graceful presence of performers as seen with Seated Dancer.
The artist’s love affair with illustrating the captivating art is a classic characteristic of his work. Similar artworks with the presence of performers include Dancer Against A Stage Flat, Singer in Green, and Russian Dancers. The painting Seated Dancer manifests the beautiful ballerina as takes a break from her dance. She leaned her body backwards as her right leg remains on the floor. The ballerina lifts her left leg and bends her leg against her chest. Her left hand is gracefully bent and placed on top of her knee, while her other arm extends towards the edge of the canvas.
The woman leans her chest backwards as she opens it up for the viewer to see. Even as the ballerina is seated, she still holds the characteristics of a performer. The ballerina is confident as she leans backwards and looks ahead into the distance. The emotion through the painting lets the viewer feel as if the woman is well aware of their presence. The woman wants the viewer’s attention to fall towards her, even while she isn’t performing. She lifts her chin up high in confidence and grace. She elongates her neck for the viewer to see. Her bright red lips give a seductive look as her small dark eyes stare into the distance. The emotion felt through the canvas is similar to artist Edouard Manet. Both artists hold a similar feel within their work.
The woman is dressed in a large fluffy dress that falls past her knees. The artist illustrates her tutu in a pastel salmon shade that gentle verges into a peachy colour. The brilliant artist is able to showcase the layering of the fabric in it’s light chiffon material. This fluffy fabric falls continues into the top part of the woman’s dress where it hugs her chest. The straps of the dress cover the woman’s shoulders, while gently falling off. A peachy coloured ribbon hugs the woman’s neck to accessorize her attire. This is a classic accessory the ballerina’s of Degas’ work had. This ribbon is painted within his other work, Three Dancers In An Exercise Hall.
Along the waist of the woman, a black corset holds her dress together. This black satin material tightly hugs the woman’s waist adding form to the look. The material gently falls into a V towards the woman skirt. Her ballet slippers are showcased near the bottom of the painting in a matching salmon colour. While it does not seem like Degas added a particular light source throughout the artwork, the woman’s pale skin is stalely illuminated. The ballerina holds incredible Parisian characteristics with darken features and dark brown hair. Degas commonly added a hint of burgundy to the ballerina’s hair.
The captivating elements that truly accentuate the painting are the bright colours near the top and bottom right. As the woman leans against the couch, bright fabrics cover the seat. A dark green, blue and red blanket is located near the floor in a mosaic pattern. A beautiful bright yellow fabric lays near the top of the painting in stunning shades of red and black hues. These fabrics hold an Art Deco feel that had not yet entered art yet. Yet, these patterns are immensely stunning and add life to the art work. A rich blue wall is seen to the left of the canvas, upon the orange burgundy couch the ballerina sits upon. The artist merged these bright colours all together to add life and depth to the work. Rather than sticking to classic pastel shades, Degas incorporates lively colours instead.