‘Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement’ – A ‘landmark’ show at London’s Royal Academy.
Possessing a unique genius for capturing the female form in motion meant Edgar Degas became one of the most enigmatic of the Impressionists. In celebration of the artist’s sublime works, which led him to becoming known as one of the founders of Impressionism, a major new exhibition has opened in London, devoted entirely to the famous French artist and his work.
Until December 11, 2011, the ‘Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement’ is being shown at the Royal Academy.
Degas’ work covered many different forms of art, including sculpture, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Although despite being involved in various artistic genres, more than half of Degas’ work depicts dancers, meaning that the French artist became especially identified with the subject of dance and having an ability to encapsulate moving females.
Degas’ images of the 19th century theatrical world shed light, not only on the inescapable seediness of the dance world in the 1800s, but also the romance of dance. Despite being referred to as a founder of the Impressionist movement, Degas disputed these claims, claiming that he was instead a realist. His sculpture of The Little Dancer, which was first exhibited in 1881, with its real hair, clad in real clothes and made out of wax, certainly portrayed an unmediated realism, of a young girl whose profession made her little more than a prostitute.
‘Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement’ is a landmark exhibition in the way it focuses on the artist’s preoccupation with movement, ballet and the female form. The exhibition is the first of its kind and presents the advances Degas made in photography and early film. As well as presenting some of the artist’s photos and samples of films, the exhibition incorporates prints, sculptures, paintings, drawings, pastels and sculptures.
To buy tickets for this landmark show at London’s Royal Academy, visit royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/degas.
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