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Degas and the Dance: The Painter and the Petits Rats, Perfecting their art
Susan Goldman Rubin
Non-Fiction picture book
Ages 6 to 10
Abrams, 2002, 0-8109-0567-1
  Edgar Degas the painter loved to watch ballet dancers. Like them he had to work hard at his art. He made hundreds of pictures to help him understand their movements and their world. He spent many hours in the Paris Opera watching their practices, lessons, rehearsals and performances, and he sketched them in many poses and moods. Not only did he show them doing their pointe and barre exercises, but he also showed them resting and looking tired. In short he came to know the girls and to appreciate how hard their lives often were.
  In this very lovely book the author not only tells her readers Degas’ own story but she also tells the stories behind his pictures, describing what the paintings or drawings show and what Degas was trying to do when he created them. Readers will come to see the painter through his art and to appreciate that he was a perfectionist who “felt a work could never be called finished.”
  The book is full of Degas’ art, beautifully reproduced and carefully annotated to help the reader understand the subject matter, the artist’s methods, and the artist’s intentions.


Degas and the dance


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