Degas The Dance Class Essay

Degas The Dance Class Essay-47
As well, he preferred to work from sketches and memory in the traditional academic manner, while they were more interested in painting outdoors (en plein air).

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While critics of the Impressionists focused their attacks on their formal innovations, it was Degas's lower-class subjects that brought him the most disapproval.

Degas's enduring interest in the human figure was shaped by his academic training, but he approached it in innovative ways.

He captured strange postures from unusual angles under artificial light.

He rejected the academic ideal of the mythical or historical subject, and instead sought his figures in modern situations, such as at the ballet.

Born into a wealthy Franco-Italian family, he was encouraged from an early age to pursue the arts, though not as a long-term career.

Following his graduation in 1853 with a baccalaureate in literature, the eighteen-year-old Degas registered at the Louvre as a copyist, which he claimed later in life is the foundation for any true artist.The aunt was disappointed in her husband, away from home, and mourning her father's passing.So this early, breakthrough work is also a reflection on Degas' (relatively limitted) experience in a family setting.There is much evidence that he was a misogynist, and also, much to prove that he was enamored with the female form that he attempted to represent it in its most absolute state through hundreds of painstaking studies.Whatever the reality may be, his studies and output furthered the exploration of the figure and the portrait in all of the visual arts.But Degas's academic training, and his own personal predilection toward Realism, set him apart from his peers, and he rejected the label 'Impressionist' preferring to describe himself as an 'Independent.' His inherited wealth gave him the comfort to find his own way, and later it also enabled him to withdraw from the Paris art world and sell pictures at his discretion.He was intrigued by the human figure, and in his many images of women - dancers, singers, and laundresses - he strove to capture the body in unusual positions.The prints had bold linear designs and a sense of flatness that was very different from the traditional Western picture with its perspective view of the world.There is a very interesting and puzzling dichotomy in the way Degas approached his female subjects.Their tendency to present themselves, and to respond defensively to their awareness of being watched, was no longer an impediment to truth-telling. Something more essential, more truthful would emerge, and play across their faces.Degas wanted to capture that." Indeed, often in his works music is playing, or else, for example, a woman is bathing and similarly dropping her guard.


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