Degas : A Passion for Perfection
'pulls out all the stops to honor six decades of Degas’ work. Essays and images share space as Degas is considered from angles of geographic location, education, and experimentation, subject matter, mixed mediums, and legacy.' - New York Journal of Books
Edgar Degas's (1834-1917) relentless experimentation with technical procedures is a hallmark of his lifelong desire to learn. The numerous iterations of compositions and poses suggest an intense self-discipline, as well as a refusal to accept any creative solution as definitive or finite. Published in the centenary year of the artist's death and to accompany an exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum and the Denver Art Museum, this book presents an exceptional array of Degas's work, including paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes, counter proofs, and sculpture, with approximately sixty key works from private and public collections in Europe and the United States, some of them published here for the first time.
Shown together, the impressive works represent well over half a century of innovation and artistic production. Essays by leading Degas scholars and conservation scientists explore his practice and recurring themes of the human figure and landscape. The book opens with a study of Degas's debt to the Old Masters, and it concludes with a consideration of his artistic legacy and his influence on leading artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Ryan Gander, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, R.B. Kitaj, Pablo Picasso, and Walter Sickert.
One essay, “Degas, Classicism, Dance” by Jill DeVonyar, a former ballet instructor and independent curator specializing in dance history shines a light on Degas's dancer drawings and explains how Degas studied daily ballet practices, learned the vocabulary of dance, and attended countless performances. Another highlight is the one page technical summary just before the concluding chapter.
One of the Spectator's art books of the year - 2017.
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- Author: Jane Munro, Keeper of paintings, drawings and prints at the Fitzwilliam Museum
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Date published: October 2017
- Language: English
- ISBN: 978-0300228236
- Product Dimensions: 29.2 x 24.1 cm