This intense piece was created using pastel over monotype and portrays a young ballerina dancing on stage while being watched by her colleagues, as well as a man in a tuxedo that stands in the backstage. It was created around 1970, when Edgar Degas was focusing on the subject matter of the ballet and producing an increasing number of ballerina portrays, as well as experimenting with different media like pastel.
The focus of this artwork is on the ballerina, dancing on the left of the painting, in the middle of the stage. All the attention is turned to her. There is a spotlight shining on her, and the colors she is portrayed pop from the earthy dark tones of the rest of the painting. She is indeed a shining star in the middle of the piece.
She is striking an “en pointe” pose, gracefully balancing on one foot and her arms are wide open. It’s impossible to look at her and not make a connection with the title of the piece. Her dress is pearly white with tones of pastel pink. Her legs are covered in pastel pink stockings. There is a cascade of flowers decorating the front of her dress, falling down her skirt. A crown of similar flowers decorates her head and her brown hair. She has a black band wrapped around her neck, suggesting a fashion choice of the time, as this black band is seen in other pieces like Dancers and Dance Class at the Opera.
The interesting part of this piece is on the background, where we can see a little bit of the backstage. The traveler is the part of the stage that makes way for the dancers and artists to travel between the backstage and mainstage. Commonly the dancers stay there waiting for their queue to get onto the stage without being spotted by the crowd. The traveler is represented in vigorous strokes of ocher, brown and blue. There we can see a couple of ballerinas dressed similarly to L’Etoile but without any details on her dresses.
There is also a sinister figure of a man, dressed in a tuxedo with his hands on his pockets. We can’t see his face, but it’s evident that he watches and almost monitors her dancing. Some theories suggest that this would be the dancer’s patron.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of L Etoile, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of L Etoile that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.