1st Edition

Perspectives on Degas

Edited By Kathryn Brown Copyright 2017
    304 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    302 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The first comprehensive assessment of Degas's legacy to be published in over two decades, Perspectives on Degas unites a team of international scholars to analyze Degas's work, artistic practice, and unique methods of pictorial problem-solving. Established scholars and curators show how recent trends in art historical thinking can stimulate innovative interpretations of Degas's paintings, prints, sculptures, and drawings and reveal new ideas about his place in the art historical narrative of the nineteenth-century avant-garde. Questions posed by contributors include: what interpretive approaches are open to a new generation of art historians in the wake of a vast body of existing scholarship on nineteenth-century art? In what ways can feminist analyses of Degas's works continue to yield new results? Which of Degas's works have received less attention in critical literature to date and what does study of them reveal? As the centenary of Degas's death approaches, this book offers a timely re-evaluation of the critical literature that has developed in response to Degas's work and identifies ways in which the further study of this artist's multi-facetted output can deepen our understanding of the wider scientific, literary, and artistic ideas that circulated in France during the latter decades of the nineteenth century.


    List of illustrations
    Notes on contributors

    Kathryn Brown

    Section I Art in context: gender, race, and labour

    1 Revisiting Degas: a meditation on women, horses, and nature
    Norma Broude

    2 Sport and embodiment: Degas’s racecourse scenes
    Shao-Chien Tseng

    3 Garçon! Waiters, labour, and performance in Edgar Degas’s The Spectators
    Mary Hunter

    4 The female spectator of modern art and the spectacle of medicalized femininity
    Anthea Callen

    5 ‘Miss La La’s’ teeth: further reflections on Degas and ‘race’
    Marilyn R. Brown

    Section II Making and materiality

    6 Edgar Degas’s Princess Pauline de Metternich and the phenomenological swirl
    Marni Reva Kessler

    7 Degas’s sculpture: the inside story
    Patricia Failing

    8 Pictures in flux: Degas’s monotypes and some notes on their relation to other media
    Jonas Beyer

    9 Intimacy and exclusion: Degas’s illustrations for Ludovic Halévy’s La Famille Cardinal
    Kathryn Brown

    Section III ‘Writing’ Degas

    10 The collecting practices of Degas and Cassatt: gender and the construction of value in art history
    Ruth E. Iskin

    11 Degas and subjectivity: from psychoanalysis to the extended mind
    Heather Dawkins

    12 In his own words: Walter Sickert’s writings on Degas
    Anna Gruetzner Robbins



    Kathryn Brown is a lecturer in modern and contemporary art at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. She is the author of Women Readers in French Painting 1870–1890 (Ashgate, 2012).

    "The reader will find countless insights into many of the artist’s main motifs, from his portraits and equestrian images to his pictures and sculptures of ballet dancers, laundresses, bathers, brothels, and café-concerts. One also learns about many of the stages of the artist’s nearly fifty-year-long career and the wide array of two- and three-dimensional media with which he worked. This important volume makes clear how fertile the field of Degas studies continues to be, thus providing a testament to the achievements of the contributors and the artist alike."

    --Nineteenth-Century French Studies