Edgar Degas - The Ballet Class

The Ballet Class – 1871-74 Musée d'Orsay

The Ballet Class – 1871-74
Musée d'Orsay

Dancers, shown in every phase of their complex and demanding art form, make up more than fifty percent of Degas’ abundant output. Degas's favorite subjects were ballerinas at work, in rehearsal or at rest, and he tirelessly explored the theme with many variations in posture and gesture. Here the class is coming to an end – the pupils are exhausted, they are stretching, twisting to scratch their backs, adjusting their hair or clothes, an earring, or a ribbon, paying little heed to the inflexible teacher, a portrait of Jules Perrot, a real-life ballet master. Degas’ figures are caught off guard, often in awkward poses, their movements broken down to convey the underlying rhythms of their actions and gestures. To see the original: http://bit.ly/2ftTUZx

Ed Wheeler

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