The Rehearsal is a very different piece. It is an oil painting made between the years of 1873 and 1878, during a time where Degas was experimenting with various media and leaning towards Impressionism, this piece presents several Academic characteristics. What stands out aesthetically the most is the accuracy of details, not only on the rehearsal scene that names the piece but also on the details outside the window.
There is a large room, beautifully represented with a very natural choice of perspective, where the ballerinas are dancing to the right. Three arched windows cover the structure top to bottom, evenly placed along the back wall of the room. The day is very bright outside, yet the room is dark and contrasts with this subtle lightness that comes from the window. Even though the light that comes from the window shines onto the room, it is not enough to brighten the entire room as it’s mostly dark and brown. These details make this piece rather unique among other Degas’ paintings, for its lack of color and vibrancy. The artist rarely represents the subtlety of colors seen in this scene.
Outside the window, the viewer can see an abundance of detail like the yellow buildings evoking the Parisian architecture. Also some dark green trees, brick orange rooftops and a bright blue sky filled with cottony clouds. All these details are even more interesting as they were painted respecting the glass texture that filters the scene to the viewer. The inside of the room is painted in tones of yellow and brown, and it’s possible to see how these walls would be bright under the right lighting, but everything is very dark contrasting with the windows. The faint light that comes from the window shines a bit on the ground, but everything remains dark.
Several ballerinas are dancing, and some are striking the same pose as if they were the ones being guided on the moment at the painting. On the back, some are stretching and striking poses but not coordinated. They wear bright white dresses and pink stockings and wear ribbons on their waists and hairs with several different colors. They also have a black ribbon around their necks, a detail seen in several pieces like Dance Class at the Opera. To the left, there is a man in black playing the violin in the foreground. He is sitting on a chair, but it’s possible to see his tailcoat and white collar, as well as details from his wooden violin.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
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