Seated Dancer (c.1879 – c.1880) by Edgar Degas

Seated Dancer - Edgar Degas - c.1879 - c.1880

Artwork Information

TitleSeated Dancer
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1879 - c.1880
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Seated Dancer

The artwork “Seated Dancer,” created by the esteemed artist Edgar Degas, is a distinguished example of the Impressionism art movement and is classified as genre painting. Composed between circa 1879 and 1880, Degas utilized pastel on cardboard as his medium of choice. Presently, this masterpiece is housed within the prestigious Hermitage Museum located in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The artwork depicts a ballet dancer in a moment of rest, capturing the grace and exhaustion of the performer. The figure is seated, her posture relaxed yet elegant, evoking a naturalistic portrayal of a dancer off-stage. The artist’s use of pastel creates a vibrant interplay of colors, illustrating the textural qualities of the dancer’s tutu with soft oranges, yellows, and whites that stand out against the darker tones of her bodice and the backdrop.

Remarkably, the pastel application is both precise and luminous, a technique that Degas mastered, allowing him to convey the flowing fabrics and the gentle luminosity of skin with deft strokes. The dancer’s expression, with her gaze directed away from the viewer, suggests a moment of introspection or fatigue, a personal instant amidst the typically public spectacle of performance. This work is a testament to Degas’s fascination with the world of dance and his ability to reveal the human element behind the artistry.

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