I declare this post a “Degas-station of art” as it includes a copy and a pastiche of one of Edgar Degas’ favorite ballet pastels, L’etoile. I base this term “Degas-station” on the similarity between the sound and description of a similar culinary term – ‘degustation‘ which describes ‘sampling small portions of signature dishes in one sitting, often matching something to complement the dish’. In this case, the “matching” is to the original painting L’etoile with both replica and pastiche versions. So above, is a copy of L’etoile printed on a hanky or handkerchief and the pastiche version entitled “Mrs. Degas Vacuums the Floor” by Sally Swain, is from her ‘Great Housewives of Art‘ exhibition of 1987. (as shown below). Sally, who was born in Sydney in 1958 is a freelance illustrator.
The original artist of L’etoile – Edgar Degas, or as he was born on 9th July 1834, Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, was a Parisian-born French Impressionist and Realist artist who was fond of depicting dancers. His father expected him to study law but he preferred to paint and began his artistic endevours as a copyist artist at the Louvre Museum of Art. His paintings, pastels, drawings, and sculptures are on prominent display in many museums around the world.
- Although Degas had no formal pupils, he greatly influenced several important painters, including Jean-Louis Forain (see my entry) and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
- Edgar Degas died 96 years ago on 27 September 1917.
- One of his popular quotes often seen on those ‘Bunches of Dates’ flip calendar pages is: “Everyone has talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty.”
- The header for this post is a detail from ‘Portrait of Hortense Valpincion‘ by Edgar Degas (Minneapolis Institute of Arts)