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Art History Essay

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The exhibition Degas: Form, Movement and the Antique at the Tampa Museum of art consist of 47 pieces from the French impressionist’s Edgar Degas life. The exhibition focuses on Degas fascination with motion, and shape and his influences from Greek and Roman art. It consists of oil paintings, charcoal and pastel drawings, and bronze replicas of his works. Most of the pieces are inspired by horses, ballerinas and everyday women. He traditionally used line, color and texture in his paintings to convey the poise and grace of the figures. He also used asymmetry, imbalance and dramatic angles to give the dancers a more naturalistic feeling. In his sculptures he typically used shape and space to simulate movement, and used form to capture the rhythm and beauty of dance. Much of his work is expressive, he utilities bright dramatic colors and quick gestural brush strokes in his artwork to convey the elegance and spontaneity of movement.
The exhibition begins with pieces of Greek and roman art from The Tampa Museum of Art’s personal collection. These are meant to show the influence of Greek and Roman art on Degas and features and vases and statues that compliment Degas work. It the features pieces centering on Degas love of horses and his fascination with their movement. The exhibition then focuses on Degas dancers, which he spent much of his life creating and then focuses on his pieces based of everyday women bathing. The exhibition is laid out beautiful the walls are dark red and white walls which compliment degas works, the statues are in the middle of the museum giving it spacious feeling adding to it the illusion of movement given by the ballerina.
The first statues I saw when I walked into the museum were Rearing Horse, Thoroughb...


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...rays to outline the women’s figure. I like this drawing because it has a loose quality to it, like a gesture drawing, or something created on a whim. He captures the spontaneity of the women’s movement and her harsh facial expression giving the drawing a distinct feeling of calmness and concentration.
The exhibition Degas: Form, Movement and the Antique gave me a unique chance to see the works of a revolutionary artist. My overall impression of the exhibit was that it gave me with a new way to think the expression of movement in art. In what I have seen each piece shows Degas and his passion for conveying motion, capturing a moment in time and showing the beauty of it. Almost all of his pieces have a sketch like quality to them which allows them to feel loose, spontaneous, and natural. By doing this he allowed his three dimensional statues to feel like drawings.



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