Unlike his fellow members of the inner circle of French Impressionism, who largely eschewed drawing for the more immediate direct application of paint, Edgar Degas put great emphasis on drawing.
He was, to my mind, one of the greatest proponents of draftsmanship of the late 19th Century, creating a great many striking drawings in pastel, graphite and crayon. Of course, it’s always a matter of discussion whether works in pastel can be considered drawings or paintings, but many of Degas’ pastel pieces definitely fall into the former classification.
The Morgan Library and Museum in New York, one of the few major art venues in the U.S. that consistently pays attention to drawings, is hosting an exhibition of Degas Drawings and Sketchbooks that features 20 beautiful drawings and two sketchbooks. The exhibition is on view until January 23, 2011.
I mentioned it back in September in my general post on Edgar Degas, but I don’t think I put enough emphasis on the online exhibition.
It’s always a delight when the Morgan posts art images that are Zoomable. Unlike many museums that feel compelled to confine Zoomable works to a tiny window (lest we art image thieves and brigands abscond with a large image), the Morgan provides a “Full Screen” option, at the bottom right of the controls, that lets you fill your entire monitor with Degas’ drawings in glorious high resolution.