Growing up, I was always fascinated by Degas's ballerinas. I loved the romantic, gestural paintings of young girls and women, and adored the painterly depictions of crinoline and pointe shoes.
I still love the works, and appreciate them even more as I now know their art historical significance. Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is often lauded as the founder of Impressionism.
However, he considered his work to be Realism, and championed history painting and the Masters as high art.
Over half of Degas's works depict his favorite subject--dancers.
These highly emotive compositions are beautifully arranged psychological portraits of the ballerinas--each figure is carefully studied and represents an individual personality.
These paintings and pastels are arranged more like snapshots of life than traditional compositions, which was a significant effect of the birth of photography on painting.
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." --Edgar Degas
This romantic, feminine ensemble reminded me of Degas's ballerinas, so I added painterly tights and ladylike pumps to complete the look.
I'm wearing a Rodarte x Target skirt and blouse, tights from Urban Outfitters, Bally patent leather pumps, Marc by Marc Jacobs jacket, vintage clip-on abalone earrings, and a leather Lauren Merkin clutch.
[Degas images from picasaweb.google.com, ibiblio.org, art-prints-on-demand.com, and nsavides.wordpress.com, respectively.]