Edgar Degas Party Painting Review

la diable,edgar degas,art history

 Edgar Degas Party Painting Review
by Teresita Blanco

Degas was a famous French painter. He also did prints and drawings. When his vision started failing, he switched to sculpting. His favorite subjects were ballerinas. A good number of his paintings focused on the isolation. Degas had professional training. However, it was his impressionist paintings which won him fame.

Robert La Diable 1872

La Diable was an opera written in 1831. The opera was based on the legends of Robert the Magnificent. He was said to be the son of the devil. The opera was considered relatively new during Degas' time. The opera was famous for its music. In the foreground, Degas painted the band. In the background, Degas painted the ballet of the nuns. Its act 3 of the opera.

singer with a glove,edgar degas,art history

 Singer with a Glove 1878

This painting shows a singer. The black glove contrasts greatly with the light. The shadings on the maiden are naturalistic.  Following the theme of isolation, this painting shows a lone singer in the midst of her aria. She is the center of attention.

the absinthe drinker, edgar degas,painting

 the absinthe drinker 1876

The subject matter of this painting is a bit ambiguous.  Around this time, Degas started illustrating cafe interiors. This painting makes reference to the social isolation created as a result of the industrial revolution. The maiden was Ellen Andree, she was an actress. The guy was a print maker named Marcellin Desboutin. When the painting was shown, the people thought it was ugly. They were not too keen on seeing this facet of modern life.

the cotton exchange,new orleans,edgar degas

 the cotton exchange New Orleans 1873

This painting was the first of Degas works to be bought by a museum.  A pity that this cotton exchange went bankrupt a couple of years later. Degas painted this when he visited New Orleans. This painting was an important landmark in his artistic career. He was finally being recognized for his talents.

the cafe conccert,music dance,edgar degas

 the cafe concert 1877

This painting follows along the same lines as Degas other dancing paintings. The figures in the light are the singers at the cafe. In the darkness, there is the band playing their music and some of the audience is visible.  Degas painted scenes like this one because they sold well. Though he was an impressionist artist, he rejected the title. He sought to paint a brief moment in time. This is what struck him from all he had seen at this concert.


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