Artwork of the Week: October 16

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Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), The Dancers. Pastel on paper, about 1889. 24 ½ by 25 ½ in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1928.198. In the special exhibition Degas and the Dance, Canaday Gallery, through Jan. 10, 2016

Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), The Dancers. Pastel on paper, about 1889. 24 ½ by 25 ½ in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1928.198. In the special exhibition Degas and the Dance, Canaday Gallery, through Jan. 10, 2016

The incandescent, expressive colors of Edgar Degas’s pastel drawing seem to vibrate off the paper. Applied in layered webs of rhythmic strokes, the colors achieve remarkable effects of translucency, depth, and texture. After about 1895, Degas turned more and more to pastel as his eyesight grew worse; unlike oil painting, it required little preparation, no drying time, and could be easily reworked. Over the course of his career, Degas produced almost 700 works in the medium, many featuring ballet dancers.


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