Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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*****= An all-time favorite
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***Degas and the Dance

The Painter and the Petits Rats, Perfecting Their Art

by Susan Goldman Rubin

Reviewed May 6, 2003.
Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, New York, 2002.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JB DEG).

This simple and beautiful picture book focuses on only one aspect of the work of Degas, his careful painting of the young dancers of the Paris opera.  It talks about how he studied their movements and positions by watching and sketching, then went on to create finished paintings.  He showed dancers not only in triumphant performance, but also behind the stage, getting ready to perform or relaxing after hard work.

Many reproductions of sketches and paintings are included, and we can see what the artist was trying to do.  The author’s focus on one part of Degas’ life makes this book easy to understand and appreciate.

This would be a wonderful book to check out before a lucky family’s trip to Paris.  I know that I will take a renewed interest in Degas and his pictures of the Dance.
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Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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