Edgar Degas Paintings

Contest Info

  • Started: 7/21/2009 13:00
  • Ended: 7/24/2009 17:00
  • Level: advanced
  • Entries: 29
  • Jackpot:
  • FN Advanced 1st Place $5
  • FN Advanced 2nd Place $3
  • FN Advanced 3rd Place $2
  • FN Advanced 4th Place $1
Edgar Degas Paintings
Contest Directions: Past Sunday the artistic world celebrated the 175th birthday of one of the most famous French artists - Edgar Degas. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, even though he more preferred to be called a realist. Degas started painting seriously very early in his life. Obsessed with painting, he turned his room into an artist studio by the age of 18. His father - a wealthy French banker - was originally against Edgar's love for art and wanted him to become a lawyer instead. At the age of 21, Degas dropped out of Law school and went to Italy for three years where he copied the works of Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian. Degas talent flourished under the guidance of his first teacher Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, whose first advice to Edgar was "draw lines, young man, many lines..."
To celebrate the 175th birthday of Edgar Degas, photoshop his works any way you wish. Some examples are - showing how his paintings would be different if he created them nowadays, including modern elements in his works, making them promote and endorse products and services, including celebrities and politicians in his art, hiring Degas to do movie posters, etc.

Contest Info

    • Started: 7/21/2009 13:00
    • Ended: 7/24/2009 17:00
    • Level: advanced
    • Entries: 29
    • Jackpot:
    • FN Advanced 1st Place $5
    • FN Advanced 2nd Place $3
    • FN Advanced 3rd Place $2
    • FN Advanced 4th Place $1
29 pictures
  • Long Time Drinker Degas Painting

    Long Time Drinker Degas Painting
  • Brad and Jennifer Before Angelina Painting

    Brad and Jennifer Before Angelina Painting
  • Ballet Dancer with Street Shoes by Degas

    Ballet Dancer with Street Shoes by Degas
  • Edgar Degas in the Office

    Edgar Degas in the Office
  • Stoned Degas Painting

    Stoned Degas Painting
  • Missing Ballet Teacher Painting

    Missing Ballet Teacher Painting
  • Nancy Pelosi Begger Painting

    Nancy Pelosi Begger Painting
  • Modern Degas

    Modern Degas
  • ER Painting

    ER Painting
  • The Singer With A Glove Edgar Degas

    The Singer With A Glove Edgar Degas
29 image entries
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Between 1874 and 1886, eight Impressionist exhibitions were conducted and Degas participated in seven of them, missing only the penultimate exhibition in 1882. Being an outstanding painter, Degas could depict contemporary life with skills, worthy of the brushes of artists of bygone years. The financial crisis, which Degas endured after the death of his father, turned out to be stressful after several years and overcome by daily work, by 1880, Degas became a prominent and respected figure in the Parisian art world. After the final Impressionist exhibition in 1886, the artist stopped publicly exhibiting his works, preferring to sell the paintings at higher prices through several sales agents. Dancers of Degas: The extraordinary popularity of the ballet scenes, painted by Degas, is easily explainable, because the artist shows us the world of grace and beauty without falling into excessive sentimentality. The life of ballet was shown so vividly that it was easy to imagine how fresh and original paintings appeared to the contemporaries of Degas. Before Degas, the artists or painters of ballet made either geometrically correct compositions or painted ballet dancers, bending in a graceful bow. Such portraits looked like photographs of Hollywood movie stars, appearing on the cover of glossy magazines. "They call me the painter of dancers" - wrote Degas. It is true, he often turned to the topic. But, it is quite wrong to think that Degas was a "dancer maniac". "For me, dancers have always been a pretext for painting pretty fabrics and rendering movement" - said Degas. An interesting note in the "Diary" of Edmond de Goncourt, made on February 13, 1874: "Yesterday I spent the entire day in the studio of a wonderful artist by the name of "Degas". After many attempts, experiments, probing in all directions, he fell in love with the contemporary, but in this contemporary, he set his sight on the laundress and dancers. In essence, the selection was not so bad. Entirely - white and pink, the woman's body in a batiste – a most glamorous occasion for using light and gentle tones. Dancers move in front of our eyes. The painting depicts the ballet hall, where the fantastic outlines of dancer's legs, coming down the stairs were painted in the background of a light window; a red spot of plaid hovers and an amusing figure of a ballet master performs in sharp contrast amongst all these blown white clouds. The graceful curves of the bodies, the turns and movements of these young girls, captured in nature, appeared before us. The artist shows his paintings, from time to time, supplementing illustrations by reproducing some or the other choreographic figure, imitation, in the language of dancers, one of the arabesque. And indeed, it is amusing to see, how he, standing on tiptoes, with arms raised over his head, blend the aesthetics of dance with the aesthetics of painting, discussing the impure tones of Velazquez and the silhouette of Mantegna". Once upon a time, Antoine Watteau, an admirer of theatrical plots, preferred to draw charming light-minded ladies and distinguished melancholic youth in assumed frozen positions, the visible symbol of beauty of a conditional and fragile world - beautiful, separated from its unreality from everyday life, is what existed for Watteau. Being a perfect observer, Degas noticed what never attracted the attention of other artists of past years: the movement of the hands of some lady sitting next to someone or binoculars, left by someone or a single fan, forgotten by a young girl on the couch. Could Antoine Watteau afford to depict a stage with hundreds of spectators, sitting in the hall, looking at the stage, and paint not the action but a profile of an accidental neighbor, who unwillingly overheard the conversation and the facial expressions of the neighbors? Edgar Degas perceived theatre that way. On the topic of dancers, Degas, to a large extent, influenced Honore Daumier. In his lithographs, he, indeed, painted theatrical sketches, which were incidental and taken from a general plan, he converted faces into grotesque masks, theatrical masks, reminiscent of Callot. The fragile and weightless figures of ballerina appear before the viewers in the shades of dance classes, in the spotlight on stage, or in brief moments of rest. The apparent artlessness of the composition and disinterested attitude of the author create the impression of detachment ("Dance Class", 1873 - 1875, "Dancer on stage", 1878 - both at Musee d'Orsay, Paris, "Stage Rehearsal", 1879, MSIU, Moscow; "The Blue Dancers", 1890, Musee d'Orsay, Paris). The same detachment was seen in Degas and in the image of nudity. A lot has been discussed about the attitude of Degas towards his models. In fact, the image of the dancers in paintings by Degas are devoid of erotic feelings or the sensations of some personal human contact. Some experts on the art of Degas believe that, it is possible to notice the contrast between dispassionate objectivity in the depiction of the characters – and the warm, lively feeling, cast in the painting itself. This statement, may be, close to objectivity, where the discussion is not about background colors, but the assertion that, the paintings by Degas carry a fine, somewhat sad irony of the artist and his deep affection towards the models, similar to the emotionality of art, which cannot be substantiated. In general, the scope of feelings in the paintings of many artists are not expressed directly and all descriptions of the spectrum of emotions, as if existing in some painting, is just a fantasy, that can be neither proved nor disproved. That is their strength and their weakness.