Russian Dancer by Edgar Degas Mouse Pad
Russian Dancer by Edgar Degas, pastel and charcoal on multiple sheets of paper mounted on board 1895, is a drawing of a single female dancer in white blouse and a skirt, kicking her leg in the air with one arm behind her head. In her dark hair is a wreath of flowers, and the dancing woman wears long boots as part of her Russian costume. Degas' enormous skills in classical drawing and powerful observation of form and movement capture the vivacious movements of the dance and shifts of mass and muscular tension of the complex contrapposto pose. Degas draws in emphatic, expressive contours, drawn both heavily and lightly, with white, black and spots of bold colour capturing and augmenting the dancer's pose and costume.
Edgar Degas (Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917) was a French painter, draftsman, sculptor, printmaker, a founder of the school of Impressionism, and a classical painter of dancers and scenes from modern life. Degas began to paint early in life, and after meeting the French classicist J.A.D. Ingres, Degas studied drawing in the manner of Ingres at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Louis Lamothe. Degas lived for 3 years in Italy, where he made many copies after Michelangelo and the masters of the Italian Renaissance. Establishing his Paris studio, the artist exhibited as a history painter but began to turn to subject matter from contemporary life, under the influence of his friend Edouard Manet. Disenfranchised from the official Paris Salon, Degas joined ranks with the independent Impressionist group and exhibited at their first show in 1874, though his classical approach, lack of spontaneity, and disdain of plein-air easel painting left him little in common with much of the group. Degas painted many portraits with profound psychological insight, many scenes from contemporary life and genre paintings, and devoted half of his life's work to colourful pictures of ballet dancers and classical female figures. Degas' bold experiments in colour which crossed boundaries between Realism, Impressionism, and Modern painting, his original compositional methods, and his painstaking, calculated classical drawing combined with the artist's cantankerous rejection of rigid rules, combined to create one of the most original and beloved body of works in the history of art.