ALL THAT ZAZZ
By Mary N. DiZazzo
An Impression of Beauty
Meet Edgar Degas (1834-1917).
Strolling through the Sackler, one of Harvard University's museums, you can feel a sense of tranquility and a man's passion to capture the true essence of what life is.
Three galleries filled with bold compositions of sculpture executed in wax and cast in bronze and painting set Degas apart from his fellow impressionists.
Our docent, Susan Glassman, pointed out many facts about Degas. It's worth your setting aside time for her specialty tours of the exhibit.
His art revealed his many interests, topics, and subjects. He worked in so many media, such as oils, photography, and pastels (powdered pigments molded into sticks).
The minute details of his artistry is marvelous. Many subjects, such as his famous depictions of ballerinas, were quite controversial for his day. Breaking the mold is always so much more challenging.
He disliked portraiture as a trade but might well have become the greatest professional portraitist of his time. He painted only friends, relatives, and individuals with whom he had emotional ties.
In 1911 the Fogg Museum (sister museum of the Sackler) gave Degas his first solo exhibition. It was the museum's first exhibit devoted to a living artist. It was also the only one-man show Degas received in his lifetime.
Edgar Degas was born into a wealthy Franco-Italian family with roots in Naples and New Orleans. Other fascinating works of his include paintings of racetracks and bathers. You'll feel you're there!
For a truly beautiful Italian experience and superb writing, read Rococo by Adriana Trigiani.
Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!