Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Museum Tour Tuesday - "L'orchestre de l'Opéra" by Edgar Degas, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

For #MuseumTourTuesday, here is one of my favorite paintings by Edgar Degas at the Musée d'Orsay. Why? It's all about the point of view.

Instead of placing the focus with the action onstage, Degas chooses to feature the members of the orchestra pit, many of whom were his personal friends. The expected area of interest, the dancers, are reduced in their importance by the radical cropping.

Despite this unexpected shift in focus, the composition is very solid. The bassoon held by the central figure is a strong vector line leading to the figure of the bassist, whose instrument leads our eyes up and back, breaking the line of the stage. From there, the brightly lit legs of the dancers push the eye back to the orchestra pit, where the gaze of the cellist and the line of his instrument lead us back to the main figure.

"L'orchestre de l'Opéra" "The Orchestra at the Opera" • Edgar Degas • ca. 1870 • Oil on Canvas
• 56.5 x 45cm

Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

No comments:

Post a Comment