Degas: Pastels, Oil Sketches, Drawings

Gotz Adriani, Author Abbeville Press $39.98 (408p) ISBN 978-0-89659-530-9
Edgar Degas was a cool diagnostician. Beyond the pretty ballet dancers frequently reproduced, he was a keen observer of modern city life, its fragmented existence, bustle, loneliness and freedom. His subject matter was restrictedthe opera, horseraces, the dance, cafes, the bathyet his method was almost clinical. In drawing a nude at her toilet, he treated the female form as an object devoid of sensual connections, which allowed him to focus on light and color. Degas, a master of line, executed hundreds of drawings, oil sketches and pastels that were the bedrock of his art and the underpinnings of his major oil paintings. The catalogue of a 1984 exhibition in Berlin and Tubingen, this is one of the most revealing, intimate and superbly printed volumes on Degas. Sixty color reproductions of the highest quality leave the reader awestruckit's almost like seeing Degas for the first time. Two-hundred-and-forty halftones include equine and figure studies and sober portraits. Adriani's definitive study brings a new perspective to this artist who believed that one must be born a draughtsman, while one can develop into a painter. October 16
Reviewed on: 09/01/1985
Release date: 09/01/1985
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