Edgar Degas – Dancer in Blue
Dancer in Blue by Edgar Degas, 1834-1917, Musee d’Orsay
Dancer in Blue by Edgar Degas painted in 1890 is a typical example of his work and an excellent example of impressionist art. The picture is done in pastel on paper, which was one of his favorite mediums. True to the inspiration of the impressionist movement, he enjoyed getting out of the studio to capture his impression of real life at a moment of time. As this picture shows he was interested in capturing real life situations and exploring the way lighting affected the color and texture of his subjects. One can see in Dancer in Blue the short choppy strokes and arbitrary use of color so typical of the impressionists.
Dancer in Blue exemplifies Degas as a realist. One can see by his use of the snapshot images of a real situation with accidental arrangement, rather than a staged studio arrangement of the subject, and by the way he draws his subjects with out idealized notions of beauty that he is striving toward reality.
Degas was a linearist artist with strong use of line in his paintings although this one due to the low lighting of the subject shows a painterly effect due to the value and high key shadows and flowing biomorphic shapes. He uses a full palette of color with highly defined simulated textures, which is very typical in the Impressionist works. This particular painting has limited space without a defined background that brings attention to the figures. I enjoy the free and relaxed style of Dancer in Blue, there is a vibrant energy, without being overworked