Dancer (1896) by Edgar Degas

Dancer - Edgar Degas - 1896

Artwork Information

ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions39.7 x 26.7 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Dancer

The artwork titled “Dancer” is a pastel on paper created by Edgar Degas in 1896. It is a genre painting reflecting the Impressionist movement, with dimensions measuring 39.7 by 26.7 cm. Currently, the piece is housed in a private collection. This particular work showcases Degas’s inclination towards the subject of dancers, a recurring theme in his oeuvre.

The artwork captures an intimate moment of a ballet dancer at rest, portrayed with a sense of immediacy and movement that is characteristic of Degas’s style. The composition is dynamic yet delicate, with the figure’s posture suggesting a combination of poise and relaxation. The dancer’s body is angled away from the viewer, her face resting on her forearm, which highlights her features softened by the subdued lighting of the backstage environment.

Degas’s use of pastel allows for rich textural detail and the layering of colors, evident in the nuanced shadings of the dancer’s flesh and the tactile quality of her tutu. The strokes are both precise and free, contributing to a sense of vitality and liveliness. Red and blue accents punctuate the otherwise muted palette, drawing attention to the dancer’s hair accessories and the shadowy outlines of her form. The background is rendered in looser, sketchier strokes, providing a stark contrast with the more finely rendered subject and emphasizing the separation between the performer and her surroundings.

Overall, the artwork is a compelling study of form and color, capturing the transitory beauty inherent in the art of dance, and it remains a testament to Degas’s mastery of the pastel medium and his enduring fascination with the ballet.

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