Wednesday, February 5, 2020

"Dream a Dream"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

The most enthusiastic audiences for Edgar Degas' ballerinas are little girls.  Especially popular is the bronze sculpture you'll find in several art museums The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer - it's real to those young girls in a way that one-dimensional paintings are not.  It's one of those moments that art impacts a human being at an early age.

An art historian wrote an interesting article for Vanity Fair and claimed Degas was "a bona fide misogynist".  He apparently took pleasure in watching his dancer/models contort in agony and even referred to them as his "little monkey girls".  Degas never married, known to be anti-Semitic - a result from the Dreyfus Affair when a French military officer, who was Jewish, was wrongfully accused of treason.  He blamed his family's business difficulties on Jewish competitors and grew more and more resentful. His bitter prejudice cost him many friends and certainly the respect of his more-tolerant Parisian artists friends and peers.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, a little girl is mesmerized while viewing Dega's Dancers Practicing at the Barre, with the sculpture The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer next to her.

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