Thinking today about Degas. It started when I looked up some Susan Rothenberg figure drawings. I always kind of liked her stuff but today it looked stale to me. Lifeless. Then I googled drawings of dancers. Intentionally I did not search Degas.
To my disappointment, but not surprise, they were awful. That started me thinking more about Degas.
His dancers are unmatched. They are just worlds above everything else in terms of capturing figural movement. But why? What is it about them exactly that makes them so much better? He worked from photos, at least for some works, as we now know, and that process can really be something that stiffens movement in a drawing. The reason is that the artist is really no longer drawing something that is moving but instead they are drawing a still photo. Yet, Degas work has tremendous movement.
The first difference is that Degas…
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