THE ARTISTIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EDGAR DEGAS AND MARY CASSATT Date The Artistic Relationship between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt Introduction Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt are renowned artists for having designed sensational pieces of arts especially sculptures and paintings…
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Conversely, Mary Cassatt emphasized on painting about social as well as the private lives of women in the society. In her works, Mary Cassatt is particular on the intimate bond manifested between the mother and the child2. The two artists that is, Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt had distinct relationships in arts besides their actual relationships. The relationships are attributed by the themes onto which each of them emphasized in their pieces of art. However, the subject has an element of complexity in its demonstration and a critical analysis of the content of the artistic works would perform a fundamental role of exposing the sense of relationship in this scenario. The two artists base their works on main issues occurring in the society. It is obvious that the works displayed by the two artists are related in various perspectives1. Therefore, this research seeks to establish the relationship between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt artistic works. Throughout this exercise there will be analysis of four different artistic pieces from the two artists. There will be a selection of two paintings of Edgar Degas and two pieces from Mary Cassatt pieces of art. The first pair of artistic pieces to be analyzed for relationship in this scenario are Ballerina and Lady with a Fan by Edgar Degas and At the Opera by Mary Cassatt. In the Ballerina and Lady with a Fan, Edgar Degas portrays a woman sitting in front in a balcony watching dancers perform. This painting exhibits an exceptional proficiency possessed by the artist. The painting manifests three levels of viewing3. In the first instance, the viewers of the painting find themselves fixed in the position of the actual audience in the theatre. The second level now directly concerns the image and there is a woman displayed as one of the audience who is also watching the performance by the dancers. The third level depicts the actual performing dancers in the stage and of whom all the attention is geared. Edgar utilizes different artistic styles in ensuring an effective visualization by the appreciators. There is effective harmonization of the light, color and shadows. All these attributes to the observable quality appreciated in the painting2. There is a distinction between the leader of the dance group who is in a light orange dress and is in front of the other dancers who are in green gowns with red stripes4. In Mary Cassatt’s, At the Opera the image also dominate a significant portion of the painting. The piece exhibits a woman seated alone in the balcony to observe performance in a theatre. The woman has a long black dress that covers her body properly from the lower part of her neck till the feet. The proper woman also has gloves on her hands and a black hat. These leaves only the face and few parts of the hands exposed for the public view. The woman has a pair of binoculars with which she uses to capture the performance explicitly in the hall4. According to the prevailing trends of this period, the paintings have a close relationship ranging from the way they are exposed to the actual meanings depicted by the pieces. The two paintings relate specifically in dominance, meaning and spectatorship. In the first painting and that is Ballerina and Lady with a Fan, we can consider the spectatorship and we can endeavor querying the exposure of the woman and her capacity to regulate or dispute the situation5. The woman seated at the balcony is viewed by other spectators most of which are men. The woman
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