Thursday, July 19, 2012

Muses Work All Day Long. . .

Detail of Dancer Taking a Bow (The Star) (1877) by Edgar Degas

". . . And then at night get together and dance."

That's one of my favorite quotes about the Arts. It's especially appropriate for today, on the birth date of Edgar Degas, born in 1834, one of my favorite Impressionists. No other artist has captured the beauty and grace of dancing as well.

It's all about motion and the transience of the moment. The way in which the figures are positioned, the flashes of color, the evocation of space, these elements create a visual rhythm that carries the eye across the canvas, as if, through the act of seeing, the viewer is a participant in the dance itself.

The Tub (1888) by Edgar Degas

It's a lyrical vision that can also be seen in his sculptural works. Even something as placid as taking a bath becomes a study in motion, a languid twist and stretch, with a natural grace and an inviting poise.

So, in honor of Degas' birth date, here are a few photos on view in various Los Angeles museum collections.

Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1881) by Edgar Degas, on view at the Norton Simon Museum

And here are a few vids:

Little Dancer Aged Fourteen

The Milliners

Degas and The Ballet - Picturing Movement


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