A – Z Challenge 2016, D is for…

Dis for Degas, Edgar, though I confess it was a close thing between him and Dali, he was born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, {19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917) and was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He was born in Paris though his family were of Creole descent from New Orleans.Edgar_Degas_(1834-1917)

He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, preferring to be called a realist. He was a superb draftsman, and particularly masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his renditions of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation.

At the beginning of his career, he wanted to be a history painter, a calling for which he was well prepared by his rigorous academic training and close study of classic art. In his early thirties, he changed course, and by bringing the traditional methods of a history painter to bear on contemporary subject matter, he became a classical painter of modern life.

It would be very easy to write hundreds of words about his career and paintings but others can do that far more easily than me, I could talk about his bathing nudes or his series painted at the racetrack, I could discourse on his bar paintings which are similar to those of another French painter of the time, Manet but it is of course his most famous painting that I really fell in love with.1280px-Edgar_Degas_-_Ballet_Rehearsal_on_Stage_-_Google_Art_Project

The dancers! I cannot paint it is just a skill I do not possess and could not master despite trying but this artist taught me that similar effects really could be achieved in different mediums, while this dancer painting is in oil he also created beautiful works of art depicting the same dancers in pastel, he captures the excitement of the performance with the grace of their movements and yet it was not his drawings or paintings that really captured my heart.

It was this young lady… Degas_3x

The figure of a ballerina aged 14 years, now let me state I have not seen the real thing, in this case it was a smaller bronze reproduction which I saw at the Rodin Museum in Paris, but it was the whole fact that this amazing creation could not be forced into a box, it was not simply a sculpture, it was a mixture of so many things, the use of hair and material from the time that you could imagine coming from a little girl he had based it on, the fact that this was not the classic elegant ballerina but a little girl with a glimmer of attitude in her face, so was the immortalisation of a real person trapped in a moment of time. This one girl has become an iconic image, one of those few artistic creations where even the someone who knows nothing of art would recognise her, she stands alongside the Mona Lisa, and a vase of sunflowers as a legacy for her maker. And as writers, and creatives she represents that to which we all aspire, the legacy that one day years from now a complete stranger will view our work and be moved by it.

I am behind on my A-Z due to being a little off colour this week but hope to be caught up very soon so I will apologise if for a the next few days you receive to posts rather than the normal one xxxx

(I have taken some of the facts and the images from Wikipedia for speed but the thoughts on the paintings and emotions and ideas provoked are entirely mine)

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5 comments on “A – Z Challenge 2016, D is for…

  1. The painting you’ve shared, I’ve seen that through my growing years. A copy of the painting is on display in my the ballroom of my school in Calcutta, India. 😀
    I have spent endless hours staring at the painting, and similar ones too, imagining myself as one of them. Thank you for sharing the post. It took me way back in time.
    [@samantha_rjsdr] from
    Whimsical Compass

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  2. Hi Paula – just tried to hit the ‘like’ button but it didn’t work. Sorry for not being more supportive of you when you are so much so for me. I am currently a bit too down in dumps to blog properly or regularly so just wanted you to know I appreciate you! Julie xx >

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  3. The Burrell Collection in Glasgow has a good Degas collection, including a version of The Little Dancer. Love him! We also have an excellent Dali, Christ of St John of the Cross, but I’m not so keen on the rest of his work so Degas is the better choice for me. Sorry you’ve been under the weather, get well soon.

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