Dancer with a Bouquet
Dancer with a Bouquet, ca. 1877-1880
Pastel and gouache over monotype on paper
40.3 x 50.5 cm (15 7/8 x 19 7/8 inches)
Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 42.213
(June 5 –October 26, 2008)
Degas’s pastels provide stimulating sources of study for any art or design student investigating light, form, and composition. In this work, footlights set aglow the young dancer with a bouquet at center stage. Behind her stand two groups of ballerinas, which Degas depicted with lengthy passages of bright orange, blue, and green pastel punctuated by the occasional dot of a bright flower. As a foil to these brilliant colors, Degas bathed the immediate foreground—a balcony and spectator—in shadowy brown and black gouache. Degas began the composition with a monotype (a work whose technique allows only one printing), over which he drew with pastel. He also added a strip of paper at the bottom of the sheet in order to accommodate the addition of the figure and her dramatic fan, leaving one to wonder if she were a compositional afterthought.(October 21, 2016 – June 11, 2017)
This image of a dancer holding a large bouquet on stage originated as a print. Degas first created a monotype—an ink drawing that he transferred onto a sheet of damp paper. (The faint embossed outline of the printing plate is still visible around the margin of the drawing.) After the monotype print was complete, Degas drew over it with bright pastel. He also added a strip of paper along the bottom of the print to expand the composition vertically, allowing for a fuller depiction of the female spectator at lower right. This unusual process, used often by Degas, allowed him to both carefully plan and experiment with his compositions.(September 16, 2005 – January 15, 2006)
Edited ByWoolsey, Ann, ed.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 2008
TypeMonographs and CollectionsSelection VFrench Watercolors and Drawings, ca. 1800-1910
Contributions byChampa, Kermit S.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1975
TypeMonographs and CollectionsEdgar DegasSix Friends At Dieppe
Edited BySingsen, Judith A., ed.
Contributions byO'Brien, Maureen C.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 2005
TypeExhibition CatalogueA Handbook of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
Edited ByWoodward, Carla M., and Franklin W. Robinson, eds.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1988
TypeMonographs and CollectionsFrom Dürer to Van GoghGifts from Eliza Greene Radeke and Helen Metcalf Danforth
Edited ByLiese, Jennifer, ed.
Contributions byEmily J. Peters
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art Rhode Island School of Design, 2008
TypeJournalExchange Exhibition, Exhibition ExchangeFrom the Collection of Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; From the Collection of The Museum of Art, Rhode
Contributions byMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. Waltham, MA: Rose Art Museum, Brandesi University., 1967
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Deborah J. Johnson, “The Discovery of a ‘Lost’ Print by Degas,” Museum Notes (1981): 28-31.
Barbara S. Shapiro, Edgar Degas: The Reluctant Impressionist. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1974.
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Vincent van Gogh and Japan. Kyoto: National Museum of Modern Art, 1992.
Robert Herbert, Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988.
Camille Mauclair, Degas. New York: Hyperion, 1941.