After seeing Degas’s Study for a portrait of Manet in the introduction to part four of this course I thought I would take a look at some more of Degas’s drawings. I was already familiar with his ballet dancer and horse paintings but it was really inspiring to see some of his studies and drawings.
The drawing above was one of the first pictures that caught my eye, the black and white chalk really make the figure stand out on the tan paper. The girl’s pose is both simple and graceful and I can only see the upper part of her body I can imagine how her feet would be poised.
I noticed there was a project called stance coming up so the next picture I decided to look at was Three Studies of a Dancer above, Degas again uses black and white chalk on tan paper but this time draws his subject from side, front and back in the same pose. My girlfriend who is also a yoga teacher has agreed to pose for me on some of the exercises and like ballet yoga has some graceful movements so it is nice to get some ideas from Degas’s drawings.
The third drawing that caught my eye was ‘Lying Nude’ a very simple half clothed nude lying on her back. Even though you only see part of the models chest stomach and one of her arms the pose allows your brain to fill in the rest.
Looking at the Seated Dancer Adjusting Her Shoes it is easy to see why Degas was so interested in painting ballet dancers with so many interesting positions and stance in their everyday dancing and training routines. In the drawing above something as simple as a ballet dancer adjusting her shoes before a lesson has allowed Degas to draw his subject in another very unique pose.
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