The Dancer by Auguste Renior, is the largest copy I have attempted (30″x40″), the maximum size allowed by the NGA for a copy. The original measures 56 1/8″X 45 3/4″. All copies I have completed thus far presented a challenge but because of the size of The Dancer this one is even more complex. “The Dancer was one of seven works Renoir included in an exhibition in Paris which opened in April 1874 with a group of artists soon to be known as the impressionists. The Dancer inevitably calls to mind the work of Renoir’s fellow impressionist Edgar Degas, whose name is now synonymous with depictions of ballet dancers. The paintings scale and the figure’s prominence by being placed in the very center of the composition, dominate the entire canvas. Shown in profile, her silk-slippered feet placed in classic fifth position, Renoir’s dancer is poised and alert as she turns her gaze toward the viewer. Renoir accentuated the dancer’s youth and he masterfully captured the gauzy softness of the tulle which floats about her body like a cloud seeming to dissolve into the hazy background. The fabric as light and ethereal as mist. This painting, as did Degas’ “The Dance Lesson”, reminds me of my youth when I painfully endured ballet lessons and wanted so badly to learn to dance well and become a ballerina. It didn’t happen but I enjoyed it and now have had the thrill of producing a dancer on canvas.
The color in the digital photograph of the copy when compared to the original work appears to be different but when actually viewed in person they are as close as can be achieved taking into consideration that the original is over one hundred years older than the copy and the color has faded.
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