Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green)

Degas has also been called the "painter of dancers". Although they were not his only theme, they are the subject of his most famous pictures. Another one was horseracing, a very fashionable pastime among the late 19th and early 20th century upper classes.

Degas typically used pastel on paper, a technique with which he achieved very beautiful colours, outlined drawings and the fine texture of the more delicate fabrics, such as the dancers’ tutus.

One of his most representative works is this "Swaying Dancer" in which he offers an original composition that is cut off like a photograph. It is set on a stage, as if the viewer were seated in a box at the theatre. The dancers in the foreground have been drawn at a foreshortened angle that is difficult to execute. They are viewed from above and they have been cut off, as if they were leaving the stage. We can only fully see the last dancer in the row. The dancers in the background, who are waiting to come on for the next piece, are painted full-face, standing in the wings. Their orange costumes create a contrast with the lovely blue and green shades of those who are on stage.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Author: Botaurus
Permission: This artwork is in the public domain: The author of this artwork died more than 70 years ago. According to E.U. Copyright Law, copyright expires 70 years after the author's death. In other countries, legislation may differ.