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  • Edgar Degas
    Jul 19, 1834 - Sep 27, 1917
  • Musicians in the Orchestra - Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist. A superb draughtsman, he is especially identified with the subject of the dance, and over half his works depict dancers.
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Musicians in the Orchestra
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  • Musicians in the Orchestra

  • Edgar Degas
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  • 1870
    Oil on canvas
    Stadelsches Kunstinstitut - Franfurt, Germany.

    With great subtlety, Degas has obscured what is usually shown in a theatre and focused on the area reserved for the audience, particularly the orchestra pit. The space is divided into three zones. At the bottom is the public part of the theatre, the area allocated to the audience of the painting as well as the performance. In the centre is the pit where the musicians sit. At the top is the stage, edged by the footlights and filled with headless ballerinas.

    An X-ray shows that Degas deliberately cut the canvas at the sides and top. The framing is therefore more radical than he originally intended. The harp, the box and the double bass were added later, linking the pit graphically to the stage.

    The areas reserved for the audience and the performers are incomplete. The subject here is the pit, which is usually out of sight, although it had already been represented by Doré and Daumier. Degas knew the musicians personally. The composer Emmanuel Chabrier can be seen in the box and Désiré Dihau, one of Degas' friends who played at the Paris Opera, is the bassoonist. Degas juggled with the traditional arrangement of the orchestra to place him in the centre of the composition.

    The contrast between the pit and the stage is reinforced by the difference in the treatment of the three zones: studied, precise and detailed, the central area of the pit is a veritable group portrait and accurately depicts the musicians and their instruments. The dancers on the other hand are scarcely sketched in. And yet the orchestra series painted between 1869 and 1876 illustrates the theme of the dance, which was so important in Degas's oeuvre. The subject gradually invaded his work.

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stars cLEo_22 from Philippines.
this art was done perfectly

Other paintings by Edgar Degas:

The Rehearsal
The Rehearsal
Waiting
Waiting
After The Bath 1895
After The Bath 1895
Russian Dancers 1
Russian Dancers 1
Edgar DegasEdgar Degas As the son of a wealthy Parisian banking family, Edgar Hilaire Germain Degas originally planned to study law before opting to enter the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1855. His studies there strongly emphasized traditional drawing skills. Degas excelled and his extraordinary draftsmanship became a hallmark of his work. In 1856, Degas traveled extensively throughout Italy where he studied renaissance and classical masterpieces.

As a founding member of the Impressionists, Degas helped to organize the ground-breaking exhibition of 1874, exhibiting 10 of his own pieces in this inaugural show. While historically labeled an Impressionist, Degas preferred the term "Naturalist". He seldom painted en plein- air. Instead preferring to work from sketches and models. The artist once said: "My art has nothing spontaneous about it, it is all reflection." His studies frequently convey an element of psychological tension, offering the viewer intimate vignettes of life in late 19th century Paris. Fascinated with the movement of forms through space, Degas often sketched dancers from the wings of theaters, working in pastel and charcoal to capture his subjects with an unrivaled immediacy. Women dancing or merely engaged in the activities of daily life consistently his favored subject. Scholarship is currently divided as to whether Degas was a misogynist or an early feminist but the raging controversy has yet to dampen enthusiasm for the artist's work.

Degas liked photography so he painted similar to how a camera would capture a picture.