Blog Degas: A Passion for Perfection

Degas: A Passion for Perfection

Posted Feb. 19, 2018, 11:55 a.m. by T

Degas: A Passion for Perfection

by Jane Munro

Yale University Press

 

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is heralded as one of the founders and masters of the impressionist movement, with the core of his oeuvre focusing on the life in Paris (think belle arts, ballet, café and theater) – nudes, lots of pink and white, the depiction of ornate clothes, exquisite dancing girls but more often than not mundane yet magic moments that are often overlooked: Ballerinas lost in mundane tasks and everything other than dancing.

Cue classical beauty, voyeurism par excellence and modern realism.

Degas considered himself an artist in the vein of Michelangelo, a book on which is reviewed in another recent blogpost,

What is interesting with Degas is that despite being influenced by the grand master Michelangelo, Degas had a weak spot for asymmetry, was an avid proponent of dramatic effect and averse to traditional composition.

What he achieved by that was scratching the surface and putting the focus on the hard work of ballet dancing and beauty in general that can be found beyond the surface.

A hundred years after Edgar Degas’ departure, the book is a well-made document that sheds light on Degas’ legacy and the influences it exerted on other significant artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, e.g. Francis Bacon, Picasso and David Hockney among others, comprising depictions not only of his more prominent and well-known paintings and sculptures, but also lesser known etchings, monotypes, and counter proofs, some of which are sources from private collections and shed light on for the first time, that give insight into the his creative processes.

Having a luminary like Jane Munro at the helm of the operation as her background and work for the University of Cambridge (as curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum as well as Director of Studies in History of Art at Christ’s College) ensures that her selection of contributors and their emissions is relevant and reveal interesting takes on Degas’ work.

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like - Bill Viola

Posted by T
Oct. 20, 2019, 9:39 a.m.

I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like: The Art of Bill Viola Yale University Press   Bill Viola has long been on my lists or artists to ... read more

Water of Life – Whipper Snapper Distillery

Posted by T
Oct. 14, 2019, 5:51 p.m.

Water of Life – Whipper Snapper Distillery Upshot   As part of our Water of Life series, we have covered whisky from terra australis in many variations, however, the focus ... read more

Water of Life – Iniquity Distillery Batch 017

Posted by T
Oct. 13, 2019, 9:56 a.m.

Water of Life – Iniquity Distillery Batch 017   You are not mistaken if you claim that Iniquity and its artisanal expressions have been previously covered as part of our ... read more

Sunn O))) + Caspar Brötzmann, Kaserne - Basel CH

Posted by Cheryl
Oct. 13, 2019, 6:43 a.m.

Sunn O))) with Caspar Brötzmann, 09/10/2019 Kaserne, Basel CH On this cold, somewhat rainy evening in Basel, the expectations for what will come are high. Sunn O))) are riding the waves of Life ... read more

The World’s Toughest Races book review

Posted by T
Oct. 12, 2019, 11:21 a.m.

The World’s Toughest Races Ali Clarke Affirm Press   People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But I don’t ... read more

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.