Sunday, 7 January 2018

Drawn In Colour: Degas From The Burrell

Dancer Adjusting Her Shoulder Strap - (1896-1899)

When you have finished at the Cézanne Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (the subject of my last blog post), make your way the short distance round to Trafalgar Square. There you will find a fantastic free exhibition currently at the National Gallery focusing on the work of Edgar Degas, (a contemporary of Cézanne), which beautifully complements Cézanne Portraits . Drawn In Colour: Degas From The Burrell Collection, is a rare opportunity to view an exquisite collection of paintings and pastels by the artist which rarely travel out of Scotland because of the fragility of the pieces, and their sensitivity to light. It's been a good few years since I was last in Glasgow, so this exhibition was a wonderful opportunity to reacquaint myself with these treasures. The full mastery of Degas' draughtmanship and drawing techniques is revealed, as well as his skills as a colourist, in the vivid saturated colours of some of these pictures - a compensation for his failing eyesight in his later years. Degas was often accused of being a voyeur for his dispassionate observations of his female subjects. Even if he were, it is a trait that stood him in good stead in an artistic capacity. He was a master of observation, tirelessly recording the poses and mannerisms of his subjects. There were lots of happy memories evoked for me of O' Level art studies, in which Degas was the subject of my essay. The paintings from The Burrell Collection in this exhibition are also complemented by works from the National's own collection. Degas was also the subject of another much praised exhibition which closes next weekend in Cambridge - Degas: A Passion For Perfection - at the Fitzwilliam Museum, which I am unfortunately unable to visit.

The Red Ballet Skirts - (1901)

Women In A Theatre Box - (1885-90)

The Rehearsal - (1873-74)

Ballet Dancers - (1890-1900)

Preparation For The Class - (1877)

Dancers On A Bench - (1898)

Three Dancers - (1896-1905)

Russian Dancers - (1899)

The Green Ballet Skirt - (1896)

After The Bath, Woman Drying Herself - (1890-95)

After The Bath - (1896)

Woman In A Tub - (1891)

Combing The Hair (La Coiffure) - (1896)

At The Tuileries, Woman With A Parasol - (1877)

Jockeys In The Rain - (1886)

Horse Tied To A Tree 

Whilst at the National Gallery, do not forget to go up to Room 42 of the gallery, after having seen the treasures in Drawn In Colour, to view the following further examples of Degas' greatness in both draughtsmanship and paint.

 Beach Scene - (1869 - 70)

 Miss LaLa At The Cirque Fernando - (1879)

 Carlo Pellegrini - (1876-7)

 Hélène Rouart In Her Father's Study (c.1886)

Drawn In Colour: Degas From The Burrell
until 7th May 2018
Ground Floor Galleries
National Gallery
Trafalgar Square