Edgar Degas (July 19, 1834, Paris – September 27, 1917, Paris) is a painter famous above all for his dancers. But what distinguishes these characters that Toto? On the occasion of the anniversary International Dance DayLet us discover together the wonderful modernity that Degas presents in art through the famous painting.dance lesson(1873-1875, oil on canvas, 85 x 75 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris).
“Dance lesson “Degas, an example of a photographic cut
Among the biggest Impressionists Of all time, Edgar Degas is part of what we can consider a subject to say the least conventional resistance compared to the others. While his colleagues were painting outdoors and immortalizing the “passing moment”, he preferred to paint his paintings in the studio He gave his subjects something unbelievable perspective cut.
and here in “dance lesson‘, we find one of his greatest virtues: Degas was able to give The illusion of the great momentApproximately photoshoot Although everything was made of Accurate weighting. As the color spreads with Large areas and synthetic brush strokes It does not describe materials and sizes, but evokes them.
Scene and themes
The scene that Degas filmed takes place in it Ballroom dance at the Paris Opera On the rue Le Peletier. Here the painter was only able to get to it thanks to a friend of his conductor who gave him a pass. In this work he chooses Degas At any point in the lesson And in this case, it captures the moment when a young dancer is preparing to perform exercises in the center of the hall under the watchful eye. Mr. Jules Perot.
arranged in Semicircle Meanwhile, the other dancers, returning from an exhausted one, are exhausted and take advantage of it A moment to rest. The first dancer we notice is that with a red bow She is surprised at her hair as she blows the air with a fan; At her feet we also find a watering can and a small dog.
To her left, sitting at the piano, we find a dancer with yellow bow which instead He rubs his back nervously His left hand grimace annoyance. Then the other dancers perform More different actions: Indeed, there are those who straighten their hair, those who laugh, those who stay with their arms folded, those who stretch their legs, those who adjust their uniforms, earrings, and ribbon.
Image stories and environment building
The shot Degas used “dance lesson“No less than innovation, because it gives the image a great photographic cut with a stretch recovery that goes Progressivethus giving great value feeling nature to the scene of the accident. In fact, if you note well, he uses a very interesting device: the artist Cut off the vanishing point on the horizon line (which goes perfectly to the right outside the work) and leads the viewer’s eye out of the canvas thanks to the arrangement of the lines that make up the cow.
To dazzle a lot of this painting is above all building environment. Although the truncation of the visible escape path does not allow a peek into the rest of the room and the environment appears to us without doors or windows, The feeling of claustrophobia does not pass. In fact, to avoid the feeling of a closed and oppressive environment, Degas uses a means big mirror in the center of the room.
The mirror reflects the right side of the hall where the little dancers are dancing, which the viewer has blocked by the end of the painting. In this glimpse reflected We can actually glimpse the rest of the hall and notice that there is one in the adjacent wall big window Who is filtering files? natural light And through it we can see the sky of Paris and its buildings. This “trick” for deceiving perspective and vanishing point is fixed in the painter’s work; We can actually find it in works like “booze“,”dance class“and the”The Ballroom of the Opera Theatre“.