The Step with Battement (1879) by Edgar Degas

The Step with Battement - Edgar Degas - 1879

Artwork Information

TitleThe Step with Battement
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Step with Battement

The artwork titled “The Step with Battement” was created by artist Edgar Degas in 1879. It is rendered in pastel, a medium Degas masterfully utilized to create vibrant compositions. This work is attributed to the Impressionist movement, a genre known for its innovative use of light and color to capture transient moments of modern life. As a genre painting, it focuses on depicting scenes of everyday life. The artwork is held in a private collection, not currently viewable by the public.

In the artwork, the focus is on a dancer, captured mid-movement, likely in the midst of a ballet step known as a battement. She is in a dynamic pose, with one leg stretched out while the other supports her, and her arms are gracefully lifted above her head. Degas’ use of pastel has imbued the composition with an effervescent quality, the texture of the dancer’s tutu rendered in such a way that it seems to shimmer and rustle. The background is indistinct, a tapestry of blended hues that sets a shadowy stage for the dancer’s solo performance. Beside her, another figure appears to be fading into the background, giving the principal dancer a striking presence. The sense of movement and the fleeting nature of the performance are evident, embodying the essence of the Impressionist movement’s exploration of spontaneity and perception.

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