Sunday, February 7, 2010


Dancers in the Wings, 1880
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
Pastel and tempera on paper, mounted to paperboard
27-1/4 x 19-3/4 in.
Norton Simon Art Foundation M.1977.06.P
Norton Simon Museum

I love when you fall a work of art at first glance and then upon research and more you find out it is even more awesome than you originally thought. I have never been a fan of Degas, I found his subject matter a bit dull (sorry ballet fans) and have never been particularly attracted to the pastel colors of so much of impressionism. I never once doubted the awesome talent of the artist, it just wasn't for me.

While searching for something else I came across this gorgeous piece by Degas. Drawn in by both composition and the colors, which are almost juicy, I was excited to discover that the work is actually made up of at least 10 pieces of paper (Norton Simon Museum website) which were used to enlarge the drawing. I've always been fascinated by what pastel can be in the hands of someone like Degas. The work is also part tempera, but this is definitely something that cannot be discerned via the digital world (see as much art as you can in person!). I would love to see this work and really understand how the mediums are used.

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