Paintings by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

By: Debra N. Mancoff

Examen de Danse (Dance Examination) by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas's (24-1/2 x 18 inches) that can be seen at Denver Art Museum.
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas's(24-1/2 x 18 inches) that can be seen atDenver Art Museum.

Examen de Danse (Dance Examination,1880) by Impressionist artist Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas clearly demonstrates how pastel was a good medium for Degas's portrayal of dancers, as, with each sure stroke, he described a gesture -- the point of a foot, the arch of a neck -- as swiftly as it was made in life. To suggest the weight or insubstantiality of form -- from the dancers' sturdy limbs to their flowing skirts -- he varied the pressure of his touch.

However, as well-suited as pastels were for Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas's favorite subject, he also applied other media to his depictions of dancers. Go to the next page to see his sculpture Little Dancer of Fourteen Years.


For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see: