....................................

EDGAR DEGAS: Painter of Moments of Happenings


"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Degas believed so, and he had never disappointed viewers.

The Painter of Dance and Dancers, Edgar Degas, born 1934 in France, and a student of classical art in his early age, was a French artist. He continued experimenting with sculpture and printing making throughout his life, but his area of occupation remained painting. Though regarded as one of the founder of impressionists like Renoir, Degas preferred to be known as a realist painter.

Ballet Dancers on the Stage

Edgar Degas was known for his paintings depicting movements of the objects he painted. He painted dancing dancers; he painted running horses; and he painted unclothed females showing movements.

Art of Degas

We can call Edgar Degas a painter of the moments; the moments that would make a painting memorable; a moment that would make a painting telling the story happening around the character painted. Edgar Degas became famous for his extra ordinary skill in portrayal and his portraits became some of the finest portraits in the history of art. Unlike many other artists who paint portraits for their clients, Degas infused some novel features in the art of portrayal.

Dgas believed that while portraying a person his or her social status and the seat of employment should occupy the prominence on the frame so that the viewers can have idea about the same. While looking at the portraits painted by Degas we can see that he had applied this concept, too. He did this by depicting the physical appearances and the postures of the sitter or by observing the style and qualities of dresses and other attributes.

Unlike other impressionist painters of his time and the other artists with whom he worked, Edgar Degas preferred working indoors. He depended upon his memory and the female models that he called to appear in his studio. In case of landscapes, too, he had repeated the subjects very often, doing certain variation of colour scheme here or the positioning the subjects there.(Images courtesy Wikimedia Commons)


Unlike other impressionist painters of his time and the other artists with whom he worked, Edgar Degas preferred working indoors. He depended upon his memory and the models that he called to appear in his studio. In case of landscapes, too, he had repeated the subjects very often, doing certain variation of colour scheme here or the positioning the subjects there.
Dancer Adjusting Her Slipper 
(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
In his paintings, in addition to preoccupied by the dance scenes, he was inclined to paint and draw the subjects that depict the actions, the act on a moment. The dancer here is shown to mend her footwear. The painting of the moments, that too on pastels, was the field that had remained relatively untouched by any artist of Edgar’s caliber; and this field, along with his rapport with circus and the dancing, provided him with rich resources to paint.

Painting Moments of Joy and Movement


Range of patel colours: warm red, cold red, orange, cold yellow, warm green, cold green, cold blue, warm blue, cold and warm violet. Look what teh artist says about taking chance in the matter of colours. "In art, nothing should look like chance, not even a movement."–Edgar Degas

Pastel on paper


This painting, Singer with a Glove, is a famous painting. This pastel on paper, the original masterpiece was painted in 1878. In his paintings, in addition to preoccupied by the dance and singing scenes, he was inclined to paint and draw the subjects depicting the action of a moment. This field was relatively virgin and untouched by any artist of Edgar’s caliber. It provided him rich resources in finding the subjects to paint. (Images courtesyWikimedia Commons)



Degas was not from the clan of the artists who maintained their families from the income received from sale proceeds of paintings. He was from a wealthy family. Though being a member of impressionist group, Degas honoured the convention of line drawing and marking out the figures clearly. For him the painting was the study of conventions. Being master in recreating the movements of the objects being painted, he had done many artworks depicting horses and dancers. His study in Italy and his understanding the paintings displayed in Louvre helped him turning himself into an artist of precision and unmatched greatness.


Edgar Degas: Painting Bathing Women


Theme: Painting Clothe-less females and males in Action. Painting the bathers. Painting Females in Pastel Colours.

Woman in the tub,
Washing her Back 
Pastel on cardboard

Edgar Degas a student of classical art in his early age was born in 1934 in France. He became a famous artist for his diverse artistic prowess. In addition to doing the painting work, he had continued experimenting with sculpture and printing making throughout his life. However his main area of occupation remained drawing and painting. Though regarded as one of the founder of impressionism along with the painters like Renoir and other, Degas preferred to be known as a realist painter of his time.

In the above painting, Woman in the tub, Washing her Back, the master painter has depicted the natural beauty of a bathing woman. The cloth-less female's action of rubbing her neck is delicately shown. Her sitting in a tub is so nicely painted that we can see the shadow of her hand on the bottom of the bathing tub. This shows how neatly and skillfully Deagas painted. (Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

In another painting 'Woman in a Tub', Deagas had demonstrated his skill to paint bathing woman very precisely. We can see how accurate he is in showing the falling of light and effects of shadows on the bare body. Look at the softness of the pastel strokes that had recreated the bathing woman here. Degas was good at showing the movements of the women, whether she may be dancing or bathing. Here the woman is rubbing her cloth-less body dry with a soft towel. However, the same artists who did painted every movement so accurately was almost blind in his last two decades of life.


Tips For The Artists : While using pastels as your medium of painting, you must choose the support, the paper, very carefully. if you are a beginner, you would find choosing a suitable paper a confusing one. But it is not so difficult. Vote for the tooth. The paper should have enough tooth, coarseness of the paper, that would hold the materials, the pastel colours within it firmly. However grading of the coarseness of paper should certainly be matching to your style of painting.
EDGAR DEGAS: Painter of Moments of HappeningsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

No comments:

GOOGLE SEARCH