Art Essay Example: Edgar Degas - The Rehearsal (1873)

Published: 2022-09-30
Art Essay Example: Edgar Degas - The Rehearsal (1873)
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Arts
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 908 words
8 min read

The 1873 Ballet Rehearsal painting by Edgar Degas is an iconic and complex art designed because of the founding figures of the impressionist movement. The picture was also derived as part of the dance subjects. The artist came up with this painting after he had identified the capturing movement theme-while using dancers in all his works. While Edgar was identified as a Realist and not an Impressionist, he captured the bodily movements and effects in the same way Renoir and Monet replicated the shimmering results of light in their paintings (Hagen & Williams 104). Degas works reveal a profound sense and psychological depth of existential loneliness and isolation. Originally, Degas wanted to become a history painter, but changed his way and became the eyes of people due to his accomplishment and experience. He also stood out from his impressionist contemporaries by immersing himself in the complications of contemporary life. His studies of dancers and ballet resulted from his distinctive approach to design and composition. In the Ballet Rehearsal, Degas elaborates way he uses dancers in all his works. Dancers, in this case, represented the impressionist movement.

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The painting conveys a sense of someone being squashed in a corner while hiding him from the action. Degas also transmits both the coiled energy from the movement as well as the trained balance of the dancers. While Degas spent most of the time in the backstage preparing his drawings, he came up with Ballet Rehearsal as a stark and ambitious work of poise and clarity (Hagen & Williams 112). Degas also reflected the techniques of dancers by applying the feel of spontaneity behind the hours of study, rehearsal, and practice. The Rehearsal has four corners with major themes distilled from Degas work on the dancers. The four dancers at the front center in the rehearsal room perform the routine battement (a style which one foot is above the waistline and the other on the floor) (Hagen & Williams 121). The painting also consists of a group of dancers behind them where one bent while two were seen gossiping near the ceiling window. There are two more people seen at the bar where one was clasping her hands while the other dancers were performing their exercises.

Degas does not use any theory mismatch between the loftier artistic and common subject platform but exists as a fact. The painting which contains dancers elevates the banal of beauty when they are seen rehearsing in a room that is partly brown, part gray including a natural light derived from the floor to the ceiling windows. The walls contain paints that are old and peeling where only one wall was equipped to the barre. Relative to other arts, Ballet was a painting in Dega's time during the artistic movement of gathering impressionism, romanticism, and realism at the front of the isms parade (Hagen & Williams 132). In other words, the painting consisted of the objectives of the French dancers. For instance, the body was never out of position, the standard line, on the other hand, held both literally and figurative, and the fingers were aligned with the limbs, head, and feet. In spite of having a regimental formality, the standard procedure used had some alchemy to it which had strict adherence to the transformed technique crafted into the art.

Degas uses elusive designs in the Ballet to create an understanding of the art form. Virtuously, the painting is meant to connect with the personifying essence of art because of its ideal coldly classical design, but yet innately balletic (Hagen & Williams 139). Degas also operated in realism, and that is why he put hints of artistic rigor everywhere. For instance, he incorporated a visible relic that had a grid pattern of every dancer's pattern battement that had a similar position indicating the use of in-depth preparation and studies before applying oil to the canvas (Hagen & Williams 145). Most of Degas photos were sketched from photographs or real life and then transferred onto the canvas and later modified for the comfort of his work.

The ends of paintings are repeated by repainting them to change the settings and character. The lighting set in the room was adequate because of the combination if the natural light and dull pallet from the windows, thus giving out a muted glamour of the ballet rehearsal (Hagen & Williams 151). The dancer's extremities, on the other hand, were vague because they had visible gnarled fingers. Their faces were lightly sketched, but the majority of them lacked faces. Their limbs were cradled in the arm of the elbow insight bends that made the curve of the calf visible with delineations for unprecedented clarity. It was not accidental that the classical ballet had emphasized on the rest of the body parts.


In the end, Degas real fun of the classroom paintings including their proposition exposed the reality about realism. No one had any idea of the Moyers captures characteristics of the foyer de jour but still gave the same artistic impression that rendered photographs by accurately and indeed revealing the picture of a dance class. Part of Degas faith came from his ability to add essence to his subject because of his cheeky and ingenious insight of how realism is not lack of artifice. Therefore, it's not a matter of Degas great liberties, but how his paintings are recognized.

Works cited

Hagen, Rose-Marie, and Karen Williams. What Paintings Say: 100 Masterpieces in Detail; Edgar Degas - The Rehearsal (1873). Taschen, 2016.

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