Edgar Degas (July 19, 1834 - September 27, 1917) is widely considered a master of drawing the human figure in motion. His extraordinary draftsmanship, which stressed balance and clarity of outline, became a hallmark of his signature style.
Degas worked in many media, preferring pastel to all others. He is well known for his animated race horse paintings, but most of all, Degas is celebrated for his intimate renderings of nudes and ballerinas.
Fascinated with the movement of forms through space, Degas often sketched dancers from the theater wings, working spontaneously and capturing his subjects with an unrivaled poignancy and power, while emphasizing their status as professionals.
Degas is often classified as an Impressionist, which is not entirely accurate. Like the Impressionists, he favored spontaneity, off-center compositions and scenes from everyday Parisian life, but Degas was never an enthusiast of painting en plein air. Nonetheless, Degas' paintings greatly impacted the world of Impressionist art and he is inevitably linked with the genre. He strongly influenced many notable artists, such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Mary Cassatt.
Edgar Degas, Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers (1878)
Douglas Hofmann’s paintings are that rarest of things in the history of modern art in that they represent a style that is at once both classical and contemporary.
Inspired by Degas, Hofmann’s art is concerned with fleeting moments – portraying brief glimpses seized from the current stream of time. The viewer is made witness to a series of intimate but ephemeral exchanges: ballerinas waiting nervously in the wings, a ballerina adjusting her partner’s costume, or another smoothing back her partner’s hair.
There is magic in this device allowing the privileged observer to explore aspects of the world that normally pass so rapidly as to be all but invisible. Hofmann’s trained eye holds a magic looking glass up to the world and transient moments otherwise missed are reflected and preserved there to be observed at leisure.
A skilled oil painter and heralded as the modern-day Degas, Hofmann’s works have been documented in the New York Post and continue to fetch notable records. Browse the Douglas Hofmann collection.
Douglas Hofmann, Reflections Portfolio I
Douglas Hofmann, Reflections Portfolio II