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