Art And Architecture Essay Example
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Degas, Painting, Art, Dance, Vision, Impressionism, Edgar Degas, Criticism
Analysis of the art form ‘The Dance Lesson’ by Edgar Degas
The art form that has been chosen for analysis in this paper is Edgar Degas painting ‘The Dance Lesson.’ This painting is an oil-on-panel (38 x 38) painting and it was created in the year 1879. This painting is one of the earliest works of Degas and belonged to the initial series out of the 40 odd paintings in this particular format of his works. There is a huge string bass that can be seen to the far left of the painting. Upon this double bass, is seen a tired dancer with an orange coloured costume, sitting and taking rest.
There is another dancer in a pink coloured shawl, sitting on a chair that can be seen in the middle of the painting with another dancer seen standing behind her and adjusting her costume. To the far right of the painting, are a few dancers seen practicing their dance moves. The entire painting essentially reflects the inspiration that Degas had received from the Japanese art form and prints. In the Japanese form of painting, the pictures in a painting are well placed out with the vastness of the floor tilted and presented in an upward angle. The selected painting of Degas is a reflection of this art form.
This particular work of Edgar Degas is currently at the Washington’s National Art Gallery. The reputation that Degas secured by the time of his demise was one among the great leaders of the French Art who belonged to the late 19th century. However, he also suffered much criticism during his lifetime. Yet, the aspects that secured him quite a bit of acclaim was the unique transformation in his works from the Impressionists, his increased inclination towards Realism, among others.
Degas’s reputation even increased after his demise, even though his art works suffered a lot of scholarly criticism since the 1970s, focusing largely on the feminine images in his works. The criticism was predominantly because the critiques saw the feminine images in his paintings as being displayed in an ungainly manner.
Degas often gave strange explanations and one of the most obscure among them is his inadequate vision on why his works were incomplete. He himself has described himself as someone who starts hundred things but completes none.
Critiques have very often opined that his works were so finely rendered that inadequateness of vision stood hardly as an explanation for incompleteness. Possibly, that was his style and signature mark that he left on his paintings. Degas encouraged his contemporary artists often to reflect and depict daily living in their work instead of portraitures and landscape.
One of the big questions that remains a mystery even to this day is why almost none of his works were ever fully complete. Though many explanations have come forth against the most obscure of claims by the artist himself about the inadequacy of his vision, there never has been a complete and concrete answer. Thus, this question continues to be a mystery even today. Also, yet another question related to Degas’s works is why were women portrayed often in awkward postures. Was this a contortion of the mind or was it artistic liberty and license? Again, despite many streams of thought, they continue to be big questions till date.