I spent a sensuous and delicious morning with Edgar Degas last Friday. A beautifully curated collection, Degas: A Passion for Perfection is in town at the Denver Art Museum.
I knew Degas from his ballet portraits and scenes, and some of his “women bathing’ pieces were ancillarily familiar. I was instantly immersed in those and also the other two modalities featured in this exhibit–his portraits of horses and the way he captures ordinary people in everyday moments (conversing, sipping coffee, being pensive). The common denominator in most of Degas’ work is movement — he captures with brushstrokes the trot of a horse, the tying of a ballet shoe, the small gesture of impatience in a conversation.
I was inspired by his creative process, so familiar to me as visionary and creator. From the exhibit notes:
Degas’ development as an artist was driven both by his yearning to discover the secrets of the Old Masters and his desire to be an independent artist of his own making. He often abided by rules before breaking them, producing during his early career a body of work with a strong foundation in drawing and painting…. Degas was determine to succeed on his own terms by blurring the boundaries of traditional media and pushing them to extremes. He excelled both as a colorist and a draughtsman and met the challenges of new subject matter with experimental techniques. Degas invented an oil medium known as l’essence… and took his mark-making to new extremes….
Quotations from and about Degas were affixed to the exhibit walls. Some of them have been repurposed as your Prompt Jar prompts this week.
Comments always welcome!