Crows gather all kinds of things in their nests. They like shiny objects or whatever strikes their fancy. I, too, like to gather a variety of things, but unlike a crow, I like to share what I find, as well as what I create myself.
Two Dancers, 1890, pastel on cream woven paper, pieced and laid down on board, The Art Institute of Chicago.
Degas liked to cut off figures in his compositions to give the impression of spontaneous observation in his paintings. He also worked with lines of vision and asymmetry to achieve this effect.
In Two Dancers the Impressionist painter continued to portray dancers into his late career. As his eyesight began to fail, the strong, gestural activity of working pastel on paper gave him the effects that he desired as well as a medium he could control. The harsh color contrasts evoke the artificial stage lighting on the dancers’ tulle skirts and the makeup powdered on their bare flesh as they wait in the wings.