The Little Dancer By Edgar Degas {An Art Review}

This week I have been learning about  Edgar Degas.  He is one of my all time favourite artists!  This review is on one of the last sculptures he ever did, The Little Dancer.  I am, once again, writing this as if I am there in 1881 when this sculpture was shown.

 

 

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The Little Dancer, another sculpture by Edgar Degas, was on display today in Paris at the Sixth Impressionist Exhibition.  This Sculpture, a step towards a more modern style of art, is a truly amazing piece of work, especially as Degas was practically blind through its creation.  The Little Dancer is sculpted in wax, which  surprised many of you as wax is not a commonly used material.  In this review I am going to talk about the style in which this was sculpted and the materials used.

The materials used

As mentioned previously, Degas sculpted this in wax.  He then dressed it in a bodice; a silk tutu; a real hair wig; a hair ribbon and proper point shoes.  The whole sculpture is coated in wax excepting the hair ribbon and the tutu.  As wax is not a commonly used material, this sculpture is of a new kind, and it is well worth seeing!

The style of sculpting

Degas is known for his drawing, sketching and sculpting of bodies, particularly those of females.  This sculpture is no different.  From the shape of the legs to the facial features Degas has captured the youth and adolescent look of this fourteen year old girl.  The position held by the model allowed Degas to sculpt a two third life sized image.  However, to me, the position almost looks forced and strained. This really touches me as this shows a unprecedented realism of  the strain of ballet training on a barely adolescent girl.

My Final Thoughts

I really like this sculpture and think that it is worth seeing!  A few other critics have put Degas down saying, and I quote, that the sculpture was  “a flower of precocious depravity”, or that the face was “marked by the hateful promise of every vice.”  This is simply not true!  This is a realistic portrayal of the hard work and the burden of training on the young ballet dancers of today.

 

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Winter Memories

So the temperature has dropped here in England.  I woke up this morning to a damp cold morning with highs of 7 degrees.  7!   It feels like it should be snowing:).  I am sitting writing this with a blanket over me and a thick knit on listening to Christmas music.

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There has been a lot of lazy school work in the house.  My brother decided to do his maths on the sofa with his quilt on top of him.

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My twin, in order to keep herself warm decided she would chuck on a beanie. A Christmas beanie:)

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Many cups of tea have been made in our whistling kettle.

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That’s what is going on inside the house.  I decided to find some photos of the garden to show you. The leaves have turned red, golden and orange:

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The log pile is slowly diminishing as fires are lit every night:

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And our apple tree is slowly losing all its leaves leaving apples hanging desolately on the branches

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To finish the outdoors.  The last roses are dying as the cold sweeps in.

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Now a Christmas vibe has been going around our house as my twin, Charlotte, and I start planning  Christmas.  Charlotte  has already readied her room with Christmas lights

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I really love Christmas as it gives me a sense of togetherness and I feel like this in the month and half running up to it.  There are nights where the fire is on and I  am sitting with Thomas and Charlotte watching TV and we are all happy and it reminds me of how blessed I am to be sitting in when its cold outside.  And how blessed I am to be sitting with my older brother and my twin.  Trust me winter could not get any better:)

 

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Little Irene by Pierre Auguste Renoir {An Art Review}

I am doing another art review to mark the close of  my study of “Little Irene” By Pierre Auguste Renoir.   I loved learning about this painting and finding out all about faces and shadowing through it.  Once again I am reviewing as if I am an art critic from Renoir’s time.

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Little Irene’ – a new painting from Pierre Auguste Renoir, which I can tell you now, is well worth seeing.   The mix of colours and the facial features make this a painting like no other!  The girl in this portrait is eight year old Irene Cahen  D’Anvers, daughter of Jewish banker,  Louis Raphael Cahen D’Anvers.

Renoir was commissioned to paint this painting for a mere 1 500 franks.  I personally feel that it is worth far more than this amount. The mix of colours in the hair make it look like it is layered, wispy and wavy (not to mention realistic). The facial features , however, are what actually makes this painting stand out as it does. Renoir is well known for his ability to create realistic faces and this painting is a example of why; using oils on canvas, Renoir has created a master piece.

By the use of a mere four colours, Renoir has created the shadowing of the face to near perfection; the eyes bring the whole face together.  The use of white, blue, black, yellow and peach coloured pigments made this face look exquisite. Likewise the hair – his use of orange, red and brown paint makes the hair gorgeous and realistic looking.

I feel this painting  appeals to almost all the senses:

    • Sight: the mix of colours makes one’s eyes see a master piece which is so realistic one feels the need to move into the scene.
    • Smell:  the background of this painting  is of a green bush of some sort.  I have no doubt that  this background has some scent to it that designed to appeal to one’s nature.
    • Touch: I think Little Irene is so realistic that one feels like one could stick one’s hand through, and stroke her hair or touch her face.

It takes many years of practice to achieve the kind of effect this painting effortlessly achieves.  I say again this painting is worth seeing!

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Finding My Face Through Art

Lately, I have been having some identity problems. I am struggling with knowing who I  am and who I want to be.  It all came to a head on Sunday when the talk in my youth group was about identity.  It hit me that I was struggling and that I just had to talk to God about all this.  So I did.  I felt that He was telling me to carry on as I was and that He would help me in His own time.  Then on Wednesday  I realised that He was talking to me through my school work.   I am studying Renoir  at the moment and part of my work was sketching out loads of faces and facial features and then it struck me; I was who I was meant to be and all I had to do was talk about it with my mum and find myself in what I enjoy.  So I spoke to Mum about it and she is now taking me for coffee so we can talk more. But that is not the subject of this post.  The subject is the pictures that helped me.  These are all pictures I have drawn myself for my school work.

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So this drawing is of a guy who, in my opinion, is thanking God for who he is.  This drawing helped me realise that I just had to be myself and not to be someone who I wasn’t.

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This one helped me see myself through the eyes of someone different.  I don’t know why but it did.

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This one showed me that I was where I was supposed to be, at the right time.  It showed me that God had placed me here for a reason.

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This one showed me that through prayer all problems will be fixed at the pace God has planned.  And that through God comes inner peace.

To finish  I am going to put a couple of bible verses my brother gave to me when he heard I was struggling with who I was in Christ.  The first is Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  The second was Genesis 1:27 ” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Thank you Thomas for giving me those verses 🙂

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The Lily Pond by Claude Monet {An Art Review}

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This post is about one of my all time favourite paintings ever, “The Lily Pond” By  Claude Monet. For my school work I had to review this painting, produce a copy of it and write a blog post about it. I am writing as if I was around in his time….

Claude Monet has blown us away again as he releases a new painting.  At 59 yrs of age art critics were doubting his ability to paint anymore but now he has gone and proven them wrong.  The Lily Pond was painted at Giverny, Monet’s estate in France, with oils on canvas.

Monet is becoming quite well know for his  many lily paintings.  He is almost obsessive about his study of lights and darks at different times of the day and of the year.  It is through his thorough observation of colours that he is able to create such realistic paintings.

By limiting his use of colours to just five, Monet has shown us exactly why he is known as an impressionist artist.  Greens and yellows were obviously his shades of choice in this oil painting of a lily pond.  As can be seen on closer inspection of his painting, an almost limitless number of greens have been used.  This myriad of green hues is created by mixing those original five colours, creating the most beautiful effect of reality.  As an observer, I feel like I am looking through a window instead of at a canvas.

Monet uses contrasting shades, again mixed with great care from just five colours, so he is able to achieve lights and shadows without ever resorting to the use of black paint.  It is well known that he abhorred black paint!

I believe this might very well be one of his best works.  I have found myself drawn into his world of lily’s and I don’t ever want to leave.

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