Painting Paper: Ballet School by Edgar Degas Essay

Learning to look is important because, it helps us understand what the picture is trying to express to the viewer. Expressive content is the combination of subject matter and visual form. Visual form is how the colors, mood, lines and textures work together. Subject matter is the objects and incidents represented in the art. Our painting, Ballet School, by Edgar Degas, uses expressive content by combining subject matter, color, and lines to form the wonderful work of art.

Subject matter is the objects and incidents represented in the painting. In the painting, girls are preparing for dance class in the bottom right corner. They are lacing up their ballet shoes and preparing for the dance class that is ahead of them. On the left side, there are ballet students coming down the spiral staircase from the dressing room. They are are coming down to relax and start to practice. Behind the girls that are lacing up their shoes, are girls practicing just before going out on stage.

On the right side in the back are four girls practicing in the back room. Throughout the whole picture you can find girls adjusting their costumes and relaxing from their hard days of work. Besides subject matter, Edgar Degas uses a variety of color to show mood and contrast throughout the painting. When you first look at the painting your eye goes to the red jacket that one of the ballerinas in the front has on. Next you can see the bright color ribbons each ballerinas has on, none have the same color.

The bright contrast of the colored ribbons and the white tutus makes the ribbons pop and attracts your eyes. The dark walls in the background of the ballerinas also makes the ballerinas stand out and draws your eyes towards them because of the color contrast of light and dark. With all the contrast of light and dark colors, but mostly light colors, it gives it a relaxed look. Especially with the bright light coming into the window on the left, giving it a more lighter, happier and relaxed feeling.

Because of all the contrast in colors your eyes travel from the front of the painting to the back and then from the right of the painting to the left because of the bright red being the most dominant color in the front right and then the color split in the back of the dark brown and yellow leading your eye to the girls stretching and dancing in the back of the picture. Overall the variety of colors used throughout the painting give the picture a realistic feel and helps in telling what is going on in the painting. Just as color and subject matter play a big role in a icture, lines also play a big part in making a painting. A line is something that creates structure or character. In Ballet School, the lines lead my eyes to the floor. The lines are perfectly horizontal and it causes my eye to glide across the page. As my eyes are gliding, I see all the little ballerinas ready to dance. Not only are there lines in the floor, but there are lines in the stairway on the left side of the painting. There are some vertical lines which make my eye look up and down, which causes me to notice the ballerinas on the stairs.

I feel like the lines make the painting more out together and complete. The lines just make everything flow together better. Overall, the lines seem to tie everything together and make everything come together as one, beautiful piece of art. In conclusion, in Ballet School by Edgar Degas, it shows a combination of subject matter, color, and lines to form the painting. Subject matter is the objects and incidents represented in the painting. Visual form is how the color, mood, lines and texture to work together. Ballet School brought back childhood memories to all of us.

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