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Retired and enjoying my free time to paint. I love the French Impressionism era. Monet, Renoir, Bazille and Manet are some of my favorites.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Edgar Degas

Sulking, 1870
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City
Like several of Dega's genre pictures from the late 1860s and early 1870s, this painting seems to reflect a literary or theatrical source.  None has been found, yet the drama that exists between the man and the woman continues to invite speculation.  Are they a husband and wife, a man and his lover, a father and his daughter, a banker and his client, a woman placing bets on horse races?  The ambiguity of the relationship harbors and endless fascination.

The picture's anecdotal character is reminiscent of Victorian painting, which Degas studied in the British section of the 1867 Exposition, Universelle in Paris.  When he was working on this canvas, Degas was closely allied with James Tissot, the most Anglophilic of French artists. Degas asked the writer Edmnd Duranty and the young model Emma Dobigny, who had been a favorite of Corot, Puvis, and Tissot, to pose for him.  the racing print behind them is Degs's careful copy of a color lithograph by J.F. Herring.

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