Unknown paintings by Edgar Degas: brothels, factory chimneys and not marshmallow ballerinas at all
Unknown paintings by Edgar Degas: brothels, factory chimneys and not marshmallow ballerinas at all
Three women in a brothel. Back view. Edgar Degas. 1877-79

Edgar Degas went down in the history of world art as a "painter of dancers". So one of the brightest representatives of impressionism was called for his commitment to the theme of ballet. The artist himself admitted that he feels special pleasure, painting ballerinas in a cloud of gas. However, in addition to light and airy paintings, he painted completely different ones. Heavy, gloomy. In our review - 9 unknown paintings by the mastercreated in an unusual technique.

Ballet scene. Edgar Degas. 1879

The paintings, which will be discussed in this review, are exhibited for the first time. The exhibition is held at the New York Museum of Modern Art and is titled "Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty." All works are made in the technique of monotype - this is a special type of graphics, when the artist applies an image with paints on a metal plate, and then makes a single print. According to the curator of the exhibition, Jody Hauptmann, it was in the technique of monotype that Degas showed himself as an innovator. These experiments put the works of the great master on a par with the most daring searches of artists of the XXI century. Degas prints were ahead of their time.

Dancer on stage with bouquets. Edgar Degas. 1876

In his youth, Degas paid much attention to the accuracy of the drawing; he copied the canvases of the great masters with such amazing scrupulousness that it was difficult to distinguish them from the originals. Using monotype in mature art is a completely new approach to creativity. This technique made it possible to make changes to the drawing up to the moment when, it would seem, the final touch was applied. Drawing on a whim was completely uncharacteristic for the manner of the young Degas.

Autumn landscape. Edgar Degas. 1890

Turning to the technique of monotype was interesting for Degas, since it made it possible to capture the trends of modernity. For example, the painting "Autumn Landscape" was painted in 1890 as if the artist saw nature from the window of a passing train. It is important to remember that the consciousness of a man of the 19th century is mostly a trip on the rebar, therefore such dynamism testifies to the progressiveness of the artist.

Heads of a man and a woman. Edgar Degas. 1877-80

Thanks to the "blurred" technique of Degas' monotype, it was possible to accurately convey the reality around him. The growth of cities, the expansion of contacts … The whirlpool of life carried away the master. And here in his paintings - glimpsed faces, breathing smoke from factory pipes.

Smoke from factories. Edgar Degas. 1877-79

It is also interesting that only in the technique of monotype Degas recreates the images of courtesans. The artist creates sketches from the life of brothels, on the periphery you can see clients frozen in indecision and ladies in anticipation. In the center, as a rule, there is emptiness, space for exchange.

Waiting for the client. Edgar Degas. 1879

The painting "Frieze of Dancers" deserves special attention at the exhibition. This is Degas' new approach to recreating dynamics. What is in front of the viewer - four ballerinas or one girl captured at different moments? Art critics traditionally attribute this work to the forerunners of cinematography in painting.

Frieze of Dancers. Edgar Degas. 1895

Edgar Degas showed a qualitatively new approach in his work on the painting Three Women in a Brothel. Back view". The artist writes this canvas, combining the possibilities of monotype and pastel, while he uses the stencil not once, as the technique required, but three times. Each subsequent print is more blurred, but in this case it plays into the hands of the master. So he creates a gallery of silhouettes that are similar to each other, but at the same time - individualized. “Degas saw more possibilities in everything than was defined by the rules,” concludes Jody Hauptmann.

The Fireside. Edgar Degas. 1880-85

At the opening of the exhibition of paintings by Edgar Degas at the Museum of Modern Art, spoke modern prima ballerina, having recreated the master's paintings in the dance.

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