Subversion of the gaze Degas and the social implications of his Dancers
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Edgar Degas' portrayal of women has generated particular interest. His subjects were often thought to be women of ill-repute, yet Degas shows them hard at work. I believe that Degas purposefully set out to chronicle the plight of working women as part of his commitment to realism in art. Looking at his series of ballet paintings and contrasting them with the works of other contemporary artists, I hope to show that Degas worked with a social consciousness of the unfair role forced on women in his society. will look at historical data, including information on the Paris Opera and its habitués. The concluding in-depth analysis of Degas' ballet images will place Degas' work in relation to other artists of his day working with similar subject matter. I hope to show that Degas was an artist both conscious of and sympathetic to the circumstances of the women he depicted.