The Art Site

Friday, June 18, 2010

Degas & Ballet

Degas painted women.
He actually painted women, which is more than can be said for John Waterhouse. He captured their essence, whereas House only caught one small dimension of their character.
Ballet was a big theme; that's where you find pretty women I suppose.
He seemed to be preoccupied with these girls rearranging their costumes. Still, that's what you do when you have thirty seconds to get ready before you're on stage again.
He liked the contrast of the old ballet teacher and the young girls. He includes this man and his knobbly walking stick in a lot of the ballet paintings.
Note the contrapposto attitude of these girls. Degas certainly did idealize women to some extent.

I'm noticing that he picks a colour scheme and runs with it - you'll find the women's bodies complement the backgrounds, because Degas tinted the flesh blue or pink or brown, based on his theme colours.
*Sigh*. I love ballet. I used to take lessons when I was a young lass, but after several years the Doctor said I had to stop - some problem with my feet. Seems to be a commonality with young girls, to take ballet lessons for a few years, dream of being a Real Ballerina one day, and then stop.

- Lydie


Blogger Theresa said...

I never took ballet, but it would have been cool if I did as I would probably be considerably more muscly. Haha!
Funny how you can always spot a bellerina by the way they stand ay.

1:04 pm  

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