Degas Pastels

Jean Sutherland Boggs, With, Anne F. Maheux, Author, Edgar Degas, Author George Braziller $75 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1276-7
In producing 700 drawings in pastel, Degas (1834-1917) not only captured gauzy ballerinas, self-absorbed women bathers, milliners, nudes and concert-goers, he also exploited the medium's versatility to depict ethereal seascapes, brothel scenes and exotic Russian dancers. Representing the full range of his pastels, this comprehensive album superbly reproduces 70 pictures, each with facing-page commentary. In her short introductory essay, Boggs, a leading Degas scholar, contrasts his exuberant jockeys and diaphanous dancers with the deeply pessimistic, withdrawn figure studies that the artist, with failing eyesight, produced in the first decade of the 20th century. Maheux, conservator of graphic arts at the National Gallery of Canada, examines Degas' methods and materials, and shows how pastel, in his hands, evolved into a modern, infinitely variable medium that he combined with monotype, gouache, lithographs and other materials to achieve novel effects. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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