Degas and the Dancer--DVD
From Devine Entertainment
The story finds Edgar Degas (Thomas Jay Ryan) in a time of crisis following the death of his father. Saddled with debt and struggling to survive, he derives unexpected inspiration from an aspiring young ballerina named Marie (Alison Pill).
Degas helps Marie tap into the incredible talent she doesn’t believe she has, especially when compared to her beautiful and confident sister Pauline (Kathryn Long) who is also a ballerina. At the same time, Marie convinces Degas to persevere in the face of relentless criticism from the Parisian art establishment. In the hours they spend together as artist and model, they become friends and confidantes, finding in each other what they most need to move forward and follow their dreams.
The Life and Times of Degas
Impressionism: originally a derogatory term coined by a journalist from Monets "Impression - Sunrise." It refers to the artistic impression of a scene that is painted at the same time the scene is observed, contrary to traditional means of doing sketches and then painting in a studio later.
Degas (Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917) grew up as the spoiled child of a wealthy banker, and throughout his youth he was able to indulge his love of painting to the fullest extent without any financial worries. His aristocratic family background gave him a haughty and detached manner that set him apart from his fellow artists, who had to struggle with the realities of making a living.
He studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, then, in 1854, he travelled to Italy where he studied renaissance art for five years. By the time he returned to Paris in 1859, he was entrenched in the classic views on art.
Then he met Édouard Manet and began to develop a personal style. He turned his back on traditional painting (historical events or idealized landscapes), and instead combined his classic technique with contemporary scenes like the race track. In the 1870s he began his famous paintings of ballet dancers, sketching from models and combining the poses into groupings. The death of his father left Degas penniless and saddled with family debt. He was forced to paint to survive... and this is where our story begins.
His classical training at the École des Beaux Arts, which none of his fellow artists had, always affected his attitude and work. As Degas shared the subject matter and style of the Impressionists, he exhibited with Pissarro, Cézanne, Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Cassatt, Manet and Guillaumin throughout the Impressionist era, turning his back on the conservative Salon with its prickly judges and tedious regulations. However, Degas never referred to himself as an Impressionist, since he preferred to paint in the studio, not in the field.
Degas is the acknowledged master of drawing the human figure in motion. He worked in many mediums, but preferred pastel to all others. He is best known for his drawings, paintings and bronzes of ballerinas and race horses.
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