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This review is from: Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement (Hardcover)I purchased two copies of this marvellous book in preparation for a visit with friends to the current exhibition, "DEGAS AND THE BALLET: PICTURING MOVEMENT" at the Royal Academy and I must say that we were certainly not disappointed by either!
This really is a lovely book. It is beautifully designed, with a well written and informative text which is lavishly illustrated with reproductions of paintings, sculptures and very early photographs from the Exhibition.
Degas' fascination with the ballet and in particular, with the physicality of the actions performed by the dancers themselves, is here set within the context of his time. Both book and Exhibition provide an overview of the developments taking place within the fledgling art of photography during the same period, postulating that Degas and many of his contemporaries in other branches of the arts had perhaps caught the same mood and were all exploring different aspects of the mysterious physical processes involved in animation. It was the movement itself which was important. As for Degas, he himself said;
"They call me the painter of dancers. They don't understand that, for me, the dancer was a pretext for painting pretty fabrics and rendering movement."
This book will inform and delight you, whether you are a fan of the arts in general, or of Degas in particular. It is a wonderful souvenir of a marvellous Exhibition - and it is £13 cheaper from Amazon than it is at the R.A. Shop! ;)