Saturday, December 24, 2016
“Dancer with a Bouquet” by Edgar Degas 14.11.1970
The stamp on this FDC depicts a painting “Dancer with a Bouquet” by Edgar Degas.
In this painting investigation of light, form, and movement, footlights set aglow a young dancer with a bouquet at centre stage. Behind her stand two groups of ballerinas, who are depicted with lengthy passages of bright orange, blue, and green pastel punctuated by the occasional dot of a bright flower. As a foil to these brilliant colors, Degas bathed the immediate foreground—-a balcony with spectator—-in shadowy brown and black gouache. The spectator’s blue earring relates the foreground to the vibrantly hued passages of the stage. Degas began this composition with a monotype and then covered it with pastel. He affixed a strip of paper at the sheet’s lower edge in order to add the figure and her dramatic fan, which leaves one to wonder if they were compositional afterthoughts.
Edgar Degas (19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917) was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, preferring to be called a realist. He was a superb draftsman, and particularly masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his rendition of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation.
At the beginning of his career, Degas wanted to be a history painter, a calling for which he was well prepared by his rigorous academic training and close study of classic art. In his early thirties, he changed course, and by bringing the traditional methods of a history painter to bear on contemporary subject matter, he became a classical painter of modern life.