Edgar Hilaire Germain Degas (1834-1917) automatic translate
Edgar-Germain-Iler de Ga or Edgar Degas, as the whole world knows him, was born in Paris in a wealthy aristocratic family. The future artist’s childhood was held in an atmosphere of love and tranquility. From an early age, Edgar showed love and drawing skills, and despite the fact that his father wanted him to become a lawyer, nothing could stop a young man from going to learn the art of painting. The mentor of the young Degas at the Paris School of Fine Arts was the then famous artist Lamotte. True, just a year of schooling, in 1856 Degas unexpectedly leaves Paris for all and leaves for almost two years to live in Italy.
See the gallery: Pictures of Edgar Degas
The formal reason for the trip was the desire to see their relatives on the paternal side. But they were attracted to Italy not by them, but by the opportunity to come into contact with the outstanding works of art of the great artists of the Renaissance.
The artist traveled a lot, he visited all the main cultural centers of the country - Florence, Rome and Naples. In every city he studied with great attention the works of the great painters of the past. The greatest impression on Degas was the canvases of Paolo Veronese and Andrea Mantegna, which became an ideal for him.
The first creative experiments
Two years later the young artist gets acquainted with Gustave Moreau, who later became for him not only a comrade, but also a mentor. Moreau was furiously engaged in the study of painting, giving it all his time. Trying to comprehend the essence of harmony, he was keenly interested in the works of Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio and Veronese, trying to feel their coloring system. His own colorful compositions Moreau preferred to perform in the techniques of watercolors or pastels. Young Degas was so impressed with the work of the older comrade that he also turned his attention to these techniques. It should be noted that Moro exerted a strong influence on the young artist, but if Gustav was the main place in color, Edgar Degas (especially at the beginning of his work) claimed the primary importance of the picture, being sure that it was «a more fruitful field of activity.»
It is in Italy that the artist begins to search for his own individual means of artistic expression. As the basis of his own style, Degas chooses the constructive construction of the form, through its realistic interpretation. Therefore, the artist’s early works are characterized by a sharp and accurate picture.
Many works of Degas, relating to this period, are endowed with a special expressiveness, resulting from the exact reproduction of reality. This is clearly shown by his painting «The Roman beggar» (1857, Art Museum, Birmingham). The image of the heroine on this canvas is given an incredibly realistic, and even rigid interpretation, while the space around her is depicted rather arbitrarily. A tired old woman sits on the threshold of an old house, immersed in her thoughts, and peers into the distance with some curiosity. The heavy life of the heroine is told not only by her shabby clothes, but also, as it were, casually disposed objects in the foreground of the picture: a piece of bread and an old pot with a cut off edge with half-eaten food. Degas performed the composition of the canvas on the principles of old masters, but his model was chosen not by the sophisticated fine lady, but by a simple woman, whose image is not at all idealized.
Despite the fact that the picture is somewhat graphic, the composition of the composition, it has a thin color model and fine-tuned tonal study. In fact, with just four colors, the artist managed to create an amazingly harmonious and expressive type of Italian beggar.
A lot of attention in the work is given to the ornamentation, as if «enlivening» all the surrounding space. In this canvas, Degas managed to solve the fundamental artistic problem very skillfully, which worried the painter even during the period of training in the class of Louis Lamot - the ratio of the figure of the hero and the surrounding space.
In the spring of 1859, Edgar Degas returned to Paris. Having lived a little in the parental home, the artist moves to a large workshop, located in the 9th district on the Rue de Laval. There he begins to create, referring primarily to the historical theme. Degas is trying to give her a new interpretation, which is not characteristic of the early works of this genre.
An example is the canvas «Young Spartans, causing a contest of Spartans» (1860, National Museum, London). Here Degas, following the classical canons of fine art, sought to update them with vivid and accurate observations from real life. The master completely ignored the conditional idealization of the ancient plot, the characters depicted by him are more similar to his teenagers, taken from the streets of Paris. This is especially noticeable due to some angular movements of the characters depicted by them, placed in a somewhat stylized landscape.
Figures of young people are placed parallel to the lower edge of the canvas in a single space of the first plan, which gives the scene greater credibility, while not losing decorative rhythm. Static poses of young men speak about the influence of neoclassical art. The artist emphasizes the realism of the scene with the help of a fine psychological interpretation of the faces of each character. In this case, the main expressive means on canvas, as in earlier works, is an elegant musical and plastic line. The color of the painting, built on a limited combination of colors, gives the canvas a feeling of strict clarity and balance.
Creating a distinctive portrait style
At the beginning of his creative path Degas creates a lot of portraits. This was partially affected by the influence of the artist’s father, who believed that it was the skilful possession of the portraitist skills that could provide the young man with a comfortable existence. On the first paintings in this genre, Degas mainly wrote self-portraits and portraits of family members, but soon switched to depicting his friends. These works clearly showed the characteristic features of the individual style of the painter, who adhered to traditional compositional techniques, in which it is easy to find a connection with the works of old masters.
An example is the work of 1855 «Self-portrait» (Museum d’Orsay, Paris) in which the artist used a dark background, typical of the Spanish school of painting, represented by such great masters as Diego Velazquez and Francisco de Goya. In «Self-portrait» he appears before us in a natural position, holding in his right hand a coal pencil - a symbol of his belonging to art. It should be noted that this work, like many other early portraits of Degas, is distinguished by the monochrome coloristic solution.
Gradually, his works become more saturated with light and color. In the canvas «Self-Portrait in a Soft Hat» (1857, Stirlng Institute for the Arts and Frapsnn Clarke, William Swayun), the artist already refuses to use a neutral muted background. Although the background of the picture is dark blue, it is lit by an even sunlight coming from the window left by the master outside the framework of his canvas. Degas depicts himself in a casual suit, the main expressive accessory is a red and orange scarf around his neck. This bright colored spot plays the role of a tuning fork in the coloring of the portrait.
Nevertheless, here, as well as on earlier canvases, for example, «The Portrait of Rene de Ha» (1855, Museum of Art Smith College, Northampton), the expressed static posture is preserved. True, Degas quickly realized this deficiency and began to experiment with the movement and camera angles in his portraits, which as a result «revived» his works and gave them dynamism. It is thanks to the unusually sharp vision of nature and the new composition of canvases that the painter brought to his canvases not only emotionality, but also profound profound psychology.
The real top of the early style of Edgar Degas, as a portraitist, was the work «The Bellelli Family» (1858-1867, Museum d’Orsay, Paris). Models for this canvas served as the uncle of the artist Gennaro, his wife Aaura, and their two daughters - Giovanna and Julia. The composition of the picture is based on the principle of some genre scenes. In the middle of the canvas is a figure of the Baroness, dressed in a black mourning dress devoid of accessories. Uncle artist Gennaro, pictured from the back, he sits in the chairs by the fireplace. Figures and faces of both spouses express their disinterest in what is happening around. Giovanna, standing next to her mother, on the contrary, looks attentively at the viewer. The younger Julia, comfortably settled on a chair, she, as if leading a leisurely conversation, was deployed to her father.
The artist never dictated to his models, in what position they should be. Unlike many painters of his time, Degas preferred to write «portraits of people in typical natural postures, usually giving them absolute freedom, both in the position of the body and in the expression of the face.»
Despite the fact that the poses of all models are calm, the asymmetrical arrangement of the figures creates some unexpected sharpness in the composition. The color of the canvas is chosen very refined, a combination of blue, silver, black and white tones, build a perfect color scheme. True, even despite this, the scene that the artist showed was not idealized. Degas filled the family portrait with drama: he portrayed a couple, pretty tired of each other’s company. Their poses emphasize the difference of characters and emotional experiences of the spouses. It becomes clear to the viewer that the only unit that unites them is children. This canvas, marked by profound psychology, mastery in the transmission of light and accuracy of drawing, is one of the best works of art created in the middle of the 19th century.
The individual style of the artist was constantly evolving, in his subsequent works the painter preferred to avoid stationarity in the composition and the frontal arrangement of models due to the increased dynamics of the composition. To this end, Degas quite often used the construction of a composition along the diagonal, shifts and unexpected angles, thanks to which he managed to achieve new more expressive effects.
For example, a very bold composition solution, chosen by Degas for the painting «A Woman Sitting in a Vase with Flowers» (1865, Metropolitan Museum, New York), which at first glance produces a strange, disturbing impression. Most of the picture is taken by a magnificent bouquet made up of chrysanthemums of different colors. The heroine sits next to the table, on which there are flowers, but her face is slightly turned away from them, she looks away. There is a feeling that the heroine got into the still-life image accidentally. Nevertheless, such a decision does not worsen the psychological characteristics of the model, but, on the contrary, emphasizes and emphasizes its individuality. The distant, pensive face of a woman is wrapped in a haze of sad memories. Striking is the amazing flair with which the artist depicts every feature that conveys the characteristics of her character. Studies of this picture, conducted in recent years, indicate that the canvas depicts Margaret Claire Brunkan (later became Baroness Valpinson).
Drawing portraits, Degas often included in them attributes that reveal the occupation or the social position of the hero. A vivid example of such an interpretation of the image can serve as the canvas «Portrait of James Tissot» (1867, Metropolitan Museum, New York), at which friend Degas, a French artist, is depicted in his workshop.
In 1869, the artist creates another of his masterpieces - a portrait of «Mademoiselle Hortensia Valpinson» (Institute of Fine Arts, Minneapolis), on which the painter depicted the nine-year-old daughter of his friend Paul Valpinson. The girl is depicted leaning on a table, covered with a dark tablecloth with a colored embroidered pattern. At the opposite end of the table is a basket with unfinished needlework. Young Hydrangea looks at the viewer, as if caught unawares.
This compositional device helped the artist to emphasize the lively, direct nature of the child. The background of the painting, painted in broad sonorous strokes, further strengthens this impression. The color of the work is built on a combination of warm ocher-golden shades, as well as black and white tones, which gives the whole product a very strong sound.
Another amazing in its expressive composition is the work «Portrait of Viscount Lepik with Daughters» (alternative name «The Square of Concord», 1876, the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg). Dynamic composition resembles a photograph of its sharp pruning of all sides of the canvas, not characteristic of the painting of that time. The horizon line is heavily overstated, which turns the Concorde Square, swiftly crossed by the Viscount Louis Napoleon Lepic, only into the background for the heroes of the picture.
It is as if someone called the daughters of a nobleman, stopping, turned in the opposite direction to the movement of his father. The canvas has an interesting color. While the main characters of the picture of Degas are dressed in light suits, almost merging with the background, the clothes of the remaining participants of the composition are made in dark, almost black tones. These «black» figures, located on the canvas with mathematical precision, create an amazing «musical» rhythm of the whole work.
Coming from a noble family and without the need for money, Edgar Degas could afford not to fulfill the demands of noble models, creating custom portraits. Among those posing for him were many characters from high society, but never the artist began to portray them in the radiant splendor of luxurious outfits. Regardless of the status of the heroes of his paintings, Degas always tried to convey the characteristic features of each of them as accurately as possible. The secular lions and lionesses, accustomed to flattery, often left him, feeling insulted.
Life experience and travel
An important event in the life of Edgar Degas was the acquaintance with Eduard Manet, which happened in 1862. Soon the artist began to regularly visit the cafe Gerbois - a popular meeting place for young artists. There they discussed the search for new stories in art, original expressive means and own vision of reality. Among the regulars of the cafe were such great artists as Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Auguste Renoir and many others.
Under the influence of this Impressionist community, in the late 1860s Degas turned to the creation of large series - «Washerwomen», «Horse Racing», «Ballet Scenes» and «Modists». All of his paintings were very accurate disclosure of the depth and complexity of the inner world of their heroes. Unlike most of the Impressionist painters, Degas never looked for inspiration in nature, he perceived reality as a dynamic element, and it was to this continuous movement that the main place in his work belonged. His ideal was the ebullient life of a modern city. Being very observant by nature, Degas, strolling along the noisy streets of Paris, noticed all the characteristic expressive features and for a long time kept what he had seen in his memory. Later, passing the rhythm of urban life, the artist created photographically accurate and impartial images.
The initial material prosperity allowed Edgar Degas to spend all his time on creative experiments. He could afford to boldly discard all canons, all the beaten tricks of composing a composition, in order to find his own unexpected point of view, a new vision, through which one could achieve an impression of freshness and immediacy of the work.
As a result of creative searches, the artist was able to achieve accurate verification of the composition of canvases, in which there was nothing accidental and all elements were called to emphasize the general meaning of the plot. The painter described his work in such a way: «My creativity is the result of reflection, patient observation, inspiration, character and study of great masters.» Degas captured all his heroes in natural and laid-back poses, struggling to convey their character and mood.
When, in 1870, the Franco-Prussian War began, the artist enrolled as a volunteer in an infantry regiment. Suddenly, at the very first shooting range, it turned out that his right eye could not see well. The diagnosis of the doctors was as follows: retinal detachment caused by diabetes. As it turned out later, this was only the beginning of Degas’ disease, which eventually brought him to almost complete blindness. Nevertheless, he was left in the ranks of the French army, having transferred to an artillery regiment. In 1871 the war was over, and Degas made a short trip to London, after which he left for his American relatives in New Orleans, where he spent the winter of 1872-1873.
At the beginning of his stay in the United States, Degas creates many sketches and paintings, including a number of portraits of his family members. But very soon he is losing fuse. The reason for this was his conclusion that «there can not be a Parisian art same as the Louisiana art without any distinction. Because otherwise it will be only illustrated the world. « From this point on, the artist ceases to make sketches and drawings that were previously created in large numbers during his many travels.
Degas became convinced that the only long-term monitoring of living in a country «can give people the opportunity to learn the customs and feel its charm.» However, contrary to their own theses, the artist creates a picture of the «Office of Trade cotton in New Orleans» (1873, Museum of Fine Arts, In). Multi-figure composition of the product is based on the juxtaposition of contrasting colors - black and white, which creates a clear alternation of the rhythm of the entire web.
In the spring of 1873 Degas returned to Paris, where soon he expects a series of losses and troubles. Less than a year later the artist’s father died, leaving behind huge debts. As it turned out, late cases were in complete disarray. The bank, which operated Ogyust De Ha, owes creditors astronomical sums. To maintain the family reputation, the artist of the debt paid from the funds get to him by inheritance, but it was not enough. In order to make ends meet, a painter sells family estate and a collection of paintings by the great masters gathered father.
All this has led to a situation that the artist for the first time in my life thought about selling his paintings. One of the most effective opportunities to attract buyers artist considered Impressionist exhibition, which he often helped organize. In the period from 1874 to 1886 there were eight such exhibitions, seven of them Degas participated. It is worth noting that his works were successful and very well sold, in contrast to the works of other impressionists.
During the 1870s, Degas even more perfected his artistic style. Spatial construction of his works gained unprecedented sharpness, even greater freedom and dynamism. The color in his paintings acquired independent significance, has become very difficult, if filled with light.
Degas is so simplified and cleansed his drawing, he could convey the game of muscles of the human body in motion with the help of only one loop. Gradually his work gained more and more sculptural character. He began to emphasize the large coal line contours of the figures and objects in the coloring of the paintings began to dominate the pink, purple and green shades, which gave the works of sonority, and all the details to a minimum.
Degas practically ceases to paint in oils, his favorite material becomes pastel. The last portrait, created by the Wizard, was the picture of «Elen Ruar in the office of his father» (1886, National Gallery, London), representing the daughter of a friend of the artist Anri Ruana - Helen.
Since the mid-70s in the works of Degas increasingly shows the influence of Japanese prints, which has had a great influence on the whole course of the Impressionists. The artist has used many of the techniques of this art, for example, the original spatial construct, use unexpected angles and frequent staging at the center of the secondary characters of the composition.
Love for horse racing
One of the great passions of the artist were a horse. Interest in these graceful animals Edgar Degas showed more during their stay in Italy. He is fascinated by traditional Roman jumps on Via del Corso, during which he made many sketches. In France itself in the 1860s as during the reign of Lui Filippa and under Napoleon III of, horse riding is also very popular. Moreover, Degas was interested not only natural plastic and grace of horses, more horses he was interested professional gestures and movements of their riders.
Creating a series of works dedicated to horse racing, Degas often found various innovative composite construction for his paintings. His favorite trick was different spatial shifts, sharp cutting edges, and various «sharp» angles. The essence of all methods was to create a vivid dynamic images that can convey a unique feeling of an ever-changing reality. An important place in this work takes color. It is with the help of color Degas was able to give motley mess of figures jockeys specific organized form.
In 1860 the artist wrote one of his first series of paintings dedicated to the horse racing. Painting «The gentlemen at the races: before the start» (Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge) perfectly characterizes the style and character of the artist, me throughout his life. The fact that his first version of this work, where the fuzzy vague figures of horsemen depicted on the background completely flat terrain, Degas rewrites twenty years. In this case, later canvas background picture steel hills and suburban factories with chimneys emitting black smoke.
The product of 1862 «riders before the start» (Musee d’Orsay, Paris), very precisely and sincerely conveys concern to the emotions that people experience stress and horses before the start. In the foreground of the picture, the full voltage, internal concentration and dynamism shown jockeys preparing for the start of the race. Medium shot busy noisy secular society, thirsty spectacle. It affects the accuracy of the delightful, which handed gestures and landing jockeys, devoid of any poetizatsii images. This technique does not surprise the viewer a dramatic fragmentation paintings, in which the edge of the picture cuts off half the figure of one of the riders.
Series Degas devoted to horse racing is full of wonderful works, a solution with almost reporter accuracy. Examples of such fabrics may serve as «Before the start» (1878, Museum of E. D Bgorlya, Zurich), «Horse racing in the province. The crew at the races «(about 1872, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston),» canter race horses «(1894, Collection At Webb, New York) and» Jockeys in front of the podium «(1869-1872 years, the Musee d’Orsay, Paris ). At the last canvas painted by Degas moment preceding the race, when the public Only show horses participating in the race. The artist skillfully assembles the picture, ensuring peace of mind and balance illusions stored characters. Inner experiences transferred by means of long shadows openwork decorating sand race tracks. All horses in the picture is almost static, with the exception of one. Degas assigned the task to reflect the state of mind that reigns immediately before the start of arrival. There is no passion and excitement typical of this event.
Somewhere in 1873, a painter at the time away from the topic of horses and horse racing any attention returned to her a few years later, when executed by the order of the singer Jean-Baptiste Phare painting «Horse Racing. Jockeys - lovers «(1876-1887 years, the Musee d’Orsay, Paris.). After that Degas occasionally wrote canvases dedicated to jumps to about the end of the 9-ies. One of the last works of this series was the picture of «Fallen Jockey» (1896-1898 gg., Museum of Art, a collection of Offentlihe, Basel). The composition of fabric similar to the earlier work of the artist, it shows us racing across the meadow horse, behind which was thrown by it, apparently dead jockey.
The expressiveness of the night life of Paris
the artist’s illness affected his lifestyle. Degas began to protect their eyes from the bright sunlight, and generally tried to visit as little as possible on the street in the daytime. Unlike the vast majority of the Impressionist painter practically did not work in the open air. Most of his paintings Degas wrote with gaslight, he has been dubbed the «first Impressionist night.» It could also be one of the reasons why the theme of Parisian cafes, cheap kafeshantanov, actresses, singers and ladies’ demi-monde «was so attractive to him.
Degas created many works on the subject of such places and their inhabitants, one of the most famous is the painting «Absinthe» (or «Absinth Drinker», 1875, Mrey d’Orsay, Paris). It depicts the interior of the popular Parisian art circles institution «Nuavel-Aten.» The composition of the painting is based on the principle of simple genre scenes from everyday life of the inhabitants of the cafe. Her characters - a man and a woman - seemingly just relax at a table after a day’s worries. But the empty tables in the foreground give the impression of stiffness and zagnannosti two people in the corner, as well as emphasize their emptiness and mutual indifference. This simple plot underscores the worry Degas theme of alienation from the outside world and its inevitable loneliness, which is the main idea of the whole work. Served as models for the artist printmaker and painter Marcellin Desboutin and actress Helen Andre. By coloring, artist manages impart internal stress and their dramatic figures, virtually devoid of motion.
Subtle skill of the painter to convey the character of its models with the help of only one gesture perfectly revealed in the paintings depicting various pevichek kafeshantanov. A striking example is the picture of the «Captain» Ambassador «(1876, Museum of Fine Arts, Lyon), in which the singer was a gesture brings together two parts of the composition: Presentation on the stage and auditorium.
With regard to this work, a well-known critic J. Riviera wrote: «How art written and female figures in the background, with their dresses from muslin and fans and viewers who raised his head and literally pulling the neck, enthusiastically watching provocative dancing and Steamy verses! If I am not wrong, then this singer contralto, thoroughly imbued with the cognac... Unusual singer gesture, leaning to the audience, of course, confirms the success of her number. Never repeating themselves as actors with roles memorized, it appeals to the audience, asks them, knowing that they will say exactly what she wants to hear, because it is managed by a tyrant, whose vices blessed. «
Written in 1878 painting «The singer of kafeshantana» (or «The singer with the glove,» Vogt Art Museum, Cambridge), is also a very bright representative of this series. Ellis Degranzh, which served as a model for this canvas, in fact, not a singer, but a very well-known in the circles of Parisian pianist, who willingly agreed to pose Degas. Figure pianist, strong approximation to the viewer, yet not a compositional center of the web. This role is played her hand, dressed in a black glove. To bring the gesture even more sound, Degas painted it on a light background. The artist managed very skillfully to organize the space of the work. Sharp hand gesture of the singer, her mouth open and a few facial features distorted image actually closer to a caricature. To mitigate this effect, the master introduced the color soft light colors: light pink patches on the dress and the face of the heroine, and the flower in her hair.
Series devoted kafeshantanam and their inhabitants, was very bright and kind. All product cycle have a very bold compositional structure, which is directed to the disclosure of the main ideas of the web. The radiance of color and light, in the paintings of Degas, transforming reality into a fantasy world filled with special tart charm.
The second favorite topic Edgara Dega was a volatile and dynamic element of dance. It is known that the artist for nearly twenty years regularly purchase a subscription to the Paris Opera. He plunged his head into the theme of the ballet, visiting theaters and dance classes. Watching the dancers hard work, the artist has recreated the enchanting world of dance. He wrote a number of paintings devoted to their rehearsals, during which every movement of the dancers bring to perfection, performances in which they appeared before the audience in a festive blaze of floodlights and during the rare moments of relaxation. Most of the work done in the workshop pastel by Degas, where he invited his models. Only after fifteen years the director of the Paris Opera allowed the artist to work directly in the wings of the theater.
One of the first works written by Degas in the theater was the picture of «the orchestra of the Opera» (about 1870, l’Orse Museum, Paris). It is a fabric of small size, the composition of which is as it were accidentally made during the presentation of the photo. Master invites the viewer to look at the stage from the orchestra pit. All foreground is occupied by musicians dressed in black tuxedos. The central place among them belongs to the image of the painter friend Desiree Dio, who plays the bassoon. The cloth is arranged in such a way that we can see only the lower part of going to play the scene. The first thing that attracts the viewer’s attention - bright pink and blue dancers pack, and only after that the musician white shirt spot pulls a look at the main character of the picture.
A huge amount of work such as an artist completely devoted dancers. The earliest painting in this series carry a greater share if the photographic impassivity with which the Master portrayed dancers.
In his canvas «dance class» (1871, Metropolitan Museum, New York), the artist masterfully conveys the excitement of the young dancers rehearsal before the decisive. A young girl stands on the background of mirrors, allowing her a little offset from the center of the figure to occupy the entire space of the class. Only on the left side of the picture there was a place and a black grand piano sits next to him an elderly accompanist, who had just ready to start playing a melody for the dance. The picture is full of silence that reigns in the spacious room. Dancers warm up before rehearsal. The whole work is permeated by a clear and harmonious rhythm of the music, the artist passed through color, through well-thought-out coloristic paintings.
Several series of works, among which was the painting «The dance class» Degas presented to the public in 1874 at the Impressionist exhibition. After it, he became known as «the painter who paints the dancers.»
To this period belongs the painting «Dance Lesson» (1874, Musee d’Orsay, Paris), the striking realism convincing interpretation of images. Degas painted fragment of rehearsal, during which an elderly teacher, stopping rehearsal, gives instructions and recommendations to their students. Light white dancers figures occupy almost all the space of the big hall, the naturalness of their poses and gestures lends credibility of the canvas. In this work, Degas captured the famous French choreographer Louis Meranti, next to which there is one of the best dancers of the time Zhozefina Gozhelen.
Coloring picture plays a special role in it, built on the harmonious combination of gray, green, bluish-white and ocher, with numerous dark accents contributing a clarity and precision, forming a smooth linear rhythm, as if echoing the movements of the dance. The whole composition «Dance Lessons», built on the principle of fragmentation, as it removes the action from the viewer, isolate it in the illusory space created by the artist. However, in the later works of the master intentionally brings graceful characters to the edge of the canvas, and sometimes do, crop images of shapes, for example, in such works as «Dancers» (1883, Museum of Art in Dallas), or «before the exam» (1880, Denver Art Museum).
Unlike other paintings where the artist paid attention mainly transmit light and graceful movements of their characters, in the work «before the exam» Edgar Degas decided to pay attention to their emotional state. On the canvas, we see the young dancers, who are preparing for the play responsibly. In the right part of the composition shows a girl, a relaxed posture. Her shoulders and head lowered, as if she was praying before going to the examiners. The second heroine massaging his leg gracefully leaning forward. The girls on the bench are two elderly ladies, leading a quiet conversation. Here Degas set out to portray an important moment in the life of dancers - when they are set to show, right before they go on stage, where they will shine in the spotlight luxurious.
The best-known works devoted to the subject of dance, is a picture of «Blue Dancers» (about 1898, National Museum of Fine Arts. A. S. Pushkina, Moscow), where the master was able to achieve a particular composition and color expression. In the product, graceful heroine whose corrected their costumes before the presentation, the artist managed so skillfully use the effect of artificial light, that all the web has turned full of radiance and if sparkling strands of dance tunes.
In the 1877 «final arabesque» (Musee d’Orsay, Paris), we note similar intonation. The cloth is arranged in such a way as to give the viewer a glimpse behind the scenes on top, watch as a ballerina preparing for the upcoming entry into the scene. Fore picture takes shape prima shown in the darkened background of an empty stage. footlights illuminate her face and pale yellow suit, likening figure girl graceful flower.
Almost all the works devoted to the theater and dancers performed in Degas pastels. Master, who was able to go beyond the usual stereotypes, and there developed his own unique style. His techniques overlay paint layer, a kind of twin primes, looking more like a smear, as if joined drawing and painting.
Throughout his work, the artist is different from a genuine interest in the characteristic features of the behavior of people belonging to different strata of society. Degas was always interested in the features of their plasticity, specific gestures and movements, in short, all that he could be transferred to the canvas. Throughout his life, the painter remained steadfast attachment to some of the topics to promote the expression of his creative interests.
Degas was very fond of genre scenes, in which the protagonists were a saleswoman and haberdashery hats, laundresses and Aisle. In all subjects the artist attracted characteristic poses and the trade union movement. Because of this he was able to discover unexpected decorative effects associated with rhythmic interaction silhouettes and comparison figures. Most of the paintings that make up this series are usually created outside the home environment, which helped Degas achieve a high level of social generalizations.
For example, in the web «Aisle» (about 1869, Neue Pinakothek, Munich), the artist sought to convey the routine and monotony of the everyday work of the heroine. Young girl depicted on the canvas, hold the iron in his right hand and the left moves the fabric. To make the most of dynamics, Degas made a double loop Aisle skirt, emphasizing the efforts that she has to make. Immediately after his return from America in 1873, Degas wrote another work of the same name, but with greater expressiveness. On a new canvas «Aisle» (Metropolitan Museum, New York), the protagonist stands in profile, her dark silhouette stands out against the background of light filled windows. Through this contrast and a pass professional women’s movement, the artist managed to masterfully reproduce the atmosphere of the Parisian Laundry.
Next painting cycle - «Two Aisle» (Musee d’Orsay, Paris), created much later, in 1884, it is perhaps the best known. The work is written in broad strokes nervous, perfectly conveys the vibrations of the air around the working girls. The color scheme, based on a comparison of blue, brown and ocher, golden and white colors, has high decorative quality that distinguishes this work from previous ones.
Degas was not the only prominent Parisian artist, love theme Aisle and laundresses. His work on this topic has often been compared with works by Onore Dome. Critic Armand Silvestre, in 1879, wrote about it in the newspaper «Modern Life»: «Let’s move on to something significant. For example, it is a significant emerges on rare paintings by Degas Monsieur - is always the same synthesis process, presenting to us an admirable artistic flair. Just look at how bent Aisle for hard work. If you look at the canvas from a distance, you might think that it was written by Daumier, but closer examination it becomes clear that this is more than Daumier. In this work has honed skills, the power of which is difficult to convey. «
For everyday scenes and paintings are depicting attendees Hat salons. For example, painting «The milliner» (about 1882, the Museum of Modern Art, New York), depicting a student Dega Meri Cassatt. The compositional structure of the product is fragmented, it is built on the principle of photography. Woman trying on a hat, almost hidden behind the back of the chair shown in the foreground. Milliner, which offers the visitor two more hats, located on the left side of the canvas and virtually indistinguishable. Falling thick shadow figure of a woman making a decorative element.
This work, whose plot seems unpretentious, was the fruit of long reflection of the author. The artist attached great importance to the expressiveness and «cantabile» line, it was with her help, he sought expression in the form of reflection. Therefore, to create a single rhythmic silhouette of the whole group it is specifically simplified volume average plan. Paintings on this theme, have become a real pinnacle of skill Edgara Dega. In them he was able to reach a new expressiveness in the mapping of reality and give monumental generalization of the ordinary everyday scenes.
Working with nudity
Another type of scenes from everyday life, which Degas devoted much time to become nude women at their toilet. From about the 1880s, the artist began to create beautiful images of women, do not fit the generally accepted canons of the time. Degas rejected all conventions, the idealization of representations of female beauty. «Beauty should be a characteristic» - this postulate adopted as the basis of his work master. The artist claimed that the nature of the naked body is best manifested in a variety of movements that can be natural only when swimming. And a series of studies, the heroine who is busy: they are washed, wiped, combed and so engrossed in their thoughts, which does not think to make elegant and graceful posture.
A striking example of such a plot may be pastel composition «Taz» (1885, Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington), the main character which has just been bent to wet the sponge in water. Her smooth gesture full of naturalness, and the composition is devoid of anything that might distract attention from the girl audience. The following year, the artist painted another work of the same name (Mrey d’Orsay, Paris). In this picture, the heroine sat in the center of the pelvis, and, leaning on the arm, washes his neck. The figure of the girl softly delineated by light coming from the window. In order to achieve greater expressiveness Degas used contrasts, emphasizing the female body, then gently «merging» with its drapery. One-third of the composition takes a wide white shelf with toiletries: the pitcher with clean water, comb and barrette. So the artist emphasized the depth of the room.
Constantly returning to the same themes, postures and gestures, it explains the irrepressible desire for perfection Degas. Friends joked about an artist, saying «get him to stop to alter the picture can only be selecting it.» The painter was obsessed with the desire to faithfully capture any movement. A special place in the work of Degas devoted to images of women, combed hair. Here, the artist never copied previously found compositional techniques, tirelessly searching for new ones.
A fine example of the artist’s incessant search for perfect posture and natural gestures can serve as one of the most famous pastels of the cycle «Woman Combing Her Hair» (1886, The State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg). Jobs has a few options, one of which is kept in a private collection Morris (Philadelphia) and one more in the Metropolitan Museum (New York). In all versions the heroine is shown from the back, which allowed Degas most convincingly convey her movement. Elastic loop lines the artist emphasizes the scope and depth of shade, created expressive smooth movements of the heroine, brushing her red long hair.
Over time, Edgar Degas develops its own aesthetics of motion transmission. Master sought not just to fix a photographic accuracy the position of the arms, legs and body, but to feel and convey the maximum expressiveness of the complex interaction of all parts of the body. Working on the works of this series, the artist attempted to create their own system, which would allow him to represent a specific position women are extremely accurate, but in the most generalized terms.
In later works of the artist movement heroines become sharper, body shape was transferred to a simplistic and often delineated by a sharp contour. A striking example is the painting «Woman coming out of the bath» (1900, private collection). It is clearly visible, as the latter style wizard found exacerbations expression, generalization of forms and ornamentation. Painter has shown that the body can be even more expressive than the face so completely mundane motifs in his art received a poetic expression of vital energy, graceful elegance and beauty.
The last years of the master
At the beginning of the XX century Edgara Dega disease aggravated so much that he almost lost his sight. Not being able to express themselves more or in what way, but art, the master begins to seriously pursue the sculpture, which he calls «craft the blind.»
Topics that Degas tried to bring in a new form of creativity, are the same as in the painting: jockeys, dancers and bathers. Small in size sculpture he sculpted to itself, so a very small number of them has been brought to the end, such as «A Little dancer fourteen.»
Contemporaries noted that the end of life, despite the dramatic deterioration of physical condition, Degas interest for music, photos and poetry only intensified. In the circle of friends he was often sing Neapolitan songs, however, somewhere in 1895, the painter is almost completely stopped communicating with friends and rarely left the house, continuing to communicate with only a very narrow circle of close friends.
Within 17 years, in 1912, Edgar throws finally work. By this time he was blind, and totally exhausted. The reasons for this poor artist had a few of this year died his sister Teresa and himself a painter has to leave the house favorite, because the reconstruction, which could no longer be postponed.
September 27, 1917 Edgar Degas died at the age of eighty-three years. The funeral took place very modestly - as preferred by the artist himself. Among the friends who came to spend his last journey were Klod Mone, Leon Bonn, Meri Kassett, Henry Lerolle, Jean-Lui Foren, Ambruaz Vollar, and many others. In his last will, Degas asked during a funeral is not to say the funeral speeches. Separately, he stressed that if Forain really want to say a few words, that they may be very simple and brief, like, «He, like me, most of all loved to draw.» Edgar Degas during his lifetime became a recognized great painter, his paintings were bought at fabulous prices, and although the last years of the artist were pretty bleak, yet he lived a rich and wonderful life will forever remain in the history of art.
- NICHOLAS MESCHERIN. EXIT FROM FAST
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