Edgar Degas Ballet Class Analysis

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As a painter and sculpture maker, Edgar Degas had a passion for art. From dropping out of two colleges, to simply watching people dance for drawing purposes, Edgar Degas purpose was to create art. Out of all of Degas’s paintings and sculptures, Degas is mainly known as a person who painted dancers, in particular ballet dancers. When looking at Edgar Degas’s paintings, one that popped out especially, and one that touched all the bases that Edgar Degas focused in all of his paintings was the painting with the title The Ballet Class. The painting consists of the vague theme, the way he experimented with items that were not used then (or he personally used), the historical context is more within his personal life over what’s going on in the world,…show more content…
Part of his process in making paintings, like Ballet Class, was going to the opera house and observe the ballet dancers, onstage, backstage, and even at some rehearsals of the ballet dancers. When Degas started painting any of plantings, even The Ballet Class he would start off with a pencil sketch of what he sees. In The Dance Class he would sketch the individual dancers, and then go to his studio to compile the sketches with his memory onto a canvas with the medium(s), in The Ballet Class painting, it was with oil. (YouTube Video).The method of transferring the sketched into a big canvas was by means of the “grid system” which was used in the Renaissance by Italian frescos. (Adrian Hamilton). In The Ballet Class it is obvious that the method of applying the paint was light and almost made it look translucent. With technology today, X-radiographs show that the a specific dancer was altered at least twice (Brown Book). He was intrigued by the shadows created while the dancers danced, and the unnatural positions the ballerinas put themselves into while dancing, (common characteristics of impressionist drawing.) Ballet Class is a great example of Degas’s attention to detail as the floor is some of the more finite details mainly art analogizes see. Another fascinating detail in the…show more content…
However, Edgar Degas’s intention was to paint in Realism, or to him, “Independent.” (Justin Wolf). Paintings outside of The Dance Class such as a portrait of Suzanne Manet. Degas decided to show her portrait to her husband, Edouard Manet, a friend of Degas’s. His reaction was somewhat angry. Edouard Manet ripped the painting, cutting through the canvas (“ART; Degas and Mrs. Manet”). This kind of reaction is what Edgar Degas did not get out of his ballerina paintings. In fact, his The Dance Class was displayed ___. Again, it is tough to pinpoint the social commentary that came with the painting as it was simply painting to view, therefore the social commentary on the painting was more on the techniques. Much like impressionists, Degas wanted to paint something with no specific
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