Edgar Degas Ballet Paintings

the star,edgar degas ballet,ballerina

Edgar Degas Ballet Paintings
Reviewed by Teresita Blanco
The Star 1881

Degas believed that an artist's life should be private. As such, there is little information about what he did in his free time. He was an eternal bachelor with strong conservative overtones. He once fired a model for being a protestant. Degas cared greatly about his family. He painted so many ballerina paintings to help his brother out of poverty. His ballerina paintings focused on their strength and skill. In this painting, the star is setting herself apart from the other ballerinas. Her dress and hairdo is different. She is also pointing at herself. She knows she is the star, but this skill isolates her from her peers.

pastel,two dancers,ballerinas

 two dancers pastel on paper

Degas was often critiqued for not finishing his paintings. After a while, he began to excuse this problem on his eyes. His paintings looked a bit half back because he used a medium that was considered a draft. This pastel painting is a good example of this issue. This drawing is akin to an artists' draft. 

the star dancer,edgar degas,ballerina

 the star dancer on stage

 In this painting, the star is doing her routine. The other dancers are faded into the background. There is a flaneur watching her dance. The ballerina looks extremely pretty. This perspective can only be seen from on top of the stage.

the green dancer,ballerina,cute girls

 the green dancer 1879

This painting focuses on the green dressed ballerinas. In the background, the orange ones are watching. Those maidens are talking, waiting for their turn.

four dancers,edgar degas,ballerinas

 four dancers 1900

This painting shows four ballerinas fixing their dress. Behind them, there is a painted set. They will enter the stage when they are ready.

ballerina,cute painting,ballet

 the rehearsal of the ballet on stage

This painting shows the ballerinas practicing. Even today, ballerinas have to practice a lot to maintain their form. Between then, there is the director. On the far right, there are two guys watching them practice.

dressing room,edgar degar ballet,ballerina painting

dancer in her dressing room

 In this painting, the dancer is changing. On the floor, one can see her street clothing. She is focused on her transformation into a ballerina. She looks rather lonesome. Its cute to notice her ballerina stance.

dancers,edgar degas ,cute ballerinas

 dancers adjusting their dress

This painting focuses on the most mundane actions of ballerinas. Their dresses have a lot of detail. This alludes to early fashion drawings.

dancers bending down,edgar degas painting,edgar degas ballerina

 dancers bending down 1885

In this painting, these two dancers are performing a maneuver.  Their dresses are highly detailed. The painting maintains quite the sketchy quality. This allowed for Degas to complete all those ballerina paintings quickly. There is at least 1500 known ballerina paintings.

the dance class,ballet lessons,dance clas

the dance class 1874

This painting shows ballerinas practicing. Some of the maidens in the audience are probably the ballerina's mothers. Ballet moms are as old as ballet. The old geezer with the stick is keeping the pacing of the dance. The mirror helps the ballerinas see how badly they are dancing.

dance class,edgar degas,ballerina

 the dance class 1873

This one shows another dance class. The ballerinas are coming downstairs. The dressers must be upstairs. The lighting in this painting look pretty.

orchestra of the opera,the opera,edgar degas

 orchestra of the opera 1869

This painting has a portrait kind of look. Almost all the faces of the musicians are visible. This time they hold the center stage. Regardless, the ballerinas are still visible. Their dresses are very pretty.

dancer with bouquet,flower girl,impressionism painting

 dancer with a bouquet of flowers 1878

The center character appears to the the dancer. However, the maiden in the foreground has the look of a rich lady. She might even be a retired dancer. Both maidens look very pretty. Following the theme of isolation, this painting focuses on the sole experience of an audience member. For this lady, the ballerina is dancing only for her.


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