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La petite danseuse de quatorze ans (La…
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La petite danseuse de quatorze ans (La Bleue) (French Edition) (edition 2017)

by Camille Laurens (Author)

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271594,473 (2.67)2
Member:JacquesDavid
Title:La petite danseuse de quatorze ans (La Bleue) (French Edition)
Authors:Camille Laurens (Author)
Info:Stock (2017), 171 pages
Collections:Annie : To read
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Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas's Masterpiece by Camille Laurens

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It was on an eighth grade school trip to the Chicago Art museum when I fell in love with the paintings of Degas. His painitings of ballerinas fascinated me, at that time I thought the life of a ballerina was one of elegance and grace. Of course, now I know it also includes a great deal of work and pain.

This is a slim book, and instead of focusing on his paintings, though of course that is mentioned on well, focuses on a sculpture he made of a young ballerina. Her features distorted to look almost humanoid, the public found her ugly, unacceptable. Degas never showed this sculpture again. He had turned to sculpture because his eyesight had begun to fail, but at that time those were never accepted as much as his paintings.

The book is part art history, part a history of the times, the young ballet girls called rats, from families who needed them to earn money at a young age. Degas himself and how his art was accepted and what as.

"Edward Degas captured an unfiltered reality and provoked disquieting sensations. He questioned society. In this sense, he was much more a realist than Impressionist. His contemporaries, in fact, reproached him for pushing his realism to extremes.It was a well and good to hear down "the partition dividing the atelier from ordinary life" but he went to far in applying "the major rule of naturalism," which was to exaggerate physical and moral ugliness."

The girl in the sculpture was named Marie, she was one of the young ballet rats. It was a hard life, little money, little food. Not much is known about her but what is known is shared. An understanding of her comes from the realities of the time, how those working poor and women in general were viewed. Such luminaries as Zola, Matisse an others also have bits here and there. An interesting book for those who enjoy a slice of art history, but don't expect this book to just be about the life of young Marie. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jan 2, 2019 |
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