Dancer Adjusting Her Sandel (c.1896) by Edgar Degas

Dancer Adjusting Her Sandel - Edgar Degas - c.1896

Artwork Information

TitleDancer Adjusting Her Sandel
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Dancer Adjusting Her Sandel

The artwork “Dancer Adjusting Her Sandal” is a pastel medium creation by the renowned artist Edgar Degas, dated approximately 1896. Emblematic of the Impressionist movement, Degas’s genre painting is preserved within a private collection. With the soft yet vibrant use of pastels, Degas captures an intimate moment in the daily life of a dancer, a subject he frequently explored, showcasing his interest in the movement and form of the human body.

In this pastel, the observer is presented with a young dancer seated, consumed with the task of adjusting her footwear. She appears to be in mid-movement, with one leg raised to fix her sandal, conveying a sense of immediacy and realism in this otherwise tranquil moment. Her attire, a voluminous tutu, is depicted in a flourish of orange and pink hues, emphasizing the airy fabric and the physical activity associated with a dancer’s preparation. The tutu fans out around her, creating a dynamic contrast with the more subdued tones of her skin and the background.

The background is executed with broad, horizontal strokes that suggest a simple, undefined space, focusing the viewer’s attention on the figure herself. Such treatment of the surroundings is characteristic of Degas’s style, where the setting often remains secondary to the central action of the figures. The dancer’s face is gently turned away, adding to the candid and unposed feeling of the scene, as if caught in an unguarded moment rather than a staged representation.

Degas’s mastery of pastels is on full display with the soft blending and layering of colors, lending both texture and depth to the artwork. The tactile quality of the medium resonates with the tangible nature of the dancer’s activity, making the artwork resonate with a lifelike vibrancy.

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