Dancers: Intimate Impressionism Notecard Folio
Ten 5 x 7 in. blank notecards with envelopes in a decorative folio.
Published with the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Excluded from annual exhibitions of the staid Académie des Beaux-Arts, and ignored by the press, a group of artists living in Paris in the 1860s broke from tradition and began an artistic revolution. Forgoing the depictions of historic and mythological scenes favored by the Académie, these artists instead painted plein air landscapes and views of common people engaged in everyday life. And rather than adopting the Académie’s conservative painting techniques, they let their colors and brushstrokes run unbridled, attempting to capture a moment’s intimacy in the ever-changing play of light and the candid expressions of human emotion. Among these impressionists, as they came to be called, were the artists featured in this folio of notecards: Edgar Degas and Jean-Louis Forain.
The two Frenchmen were friends, and both had studied at the école des Beaux-Arts. Degas (1834–1917) had no affinity for the landscape painting practiced by Monet and others; he was particularly interested in dance and painted a great many images of dancers. Forain (1852– 1931) became known for capturing, often satirically, the pulse of Parisian society. Degas was a major influence on Forain, so it’s no surprise to find the younger artist taking his turn at rendering the dancer on canvas.
Contains five each of the following notecards:
Dancers Backstage, 1876/1883, by Edgar Degas
Behind the Scenes, c. 1880, by Jean-Louis Forain