Happy Birthday to Edgar Degas, born on this day in 1834!
These teacher materials prompt students to use artworks in the Cleveland Museum of Art in writing processes, applications, and communication, both oral and visual.
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
oil on fabric, Framed - h:103.00 w:233.50 d:7.00 cm (h:40 1/2 w:91 7/8 d:2 3/4 inches)
Unframed - h:70.00 w:200.50 cm (h:27 1/2 w:78 7/8 inches). Gift of the Hanna Fund 1946.83
This painting probably depicts a single dancer seen from four different viewpoints. The young woman is placed in an undefined setting, surrounded by mere wisps of color, applied so spontaneously that the paint ran and dripped. Degas even added the circles in the foreground with his thumb. Such audacity, while acceptable in a small sketch, must have shocked the artist's contemporaries when presented on a six-foot canvas. Equally radical is the idea of combining multiple views of a single figure, an approach that violated the traditional notion that a painting must represent a unity of time, place, and viewpoint. Degas's unusual presentation may have been inspired by the work of British photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)