Edgar Degas – Fluid Movement

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Edgar Degas, French (1834 – 1917)
Fluid Movement

Medium: Charcoal on paper
Unframed size 13.25 x 9 inches
Signature: Signed ‘Degas’ (Lower Left)

Provenance:
Private collection, United Kingdom

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Helge Helme was born in 1894 in Denmark. He first studied at the technical school in Roskilde, and then studied art at the Royal Danish Academy of fine arts in Copenhagen, completing his final year in 1920, his professors were CV Aargaard and Viggo Brandt.

Helme loved the feminine beauty and devoted himself mainly to painting models: In the tradition of the Danish artist Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, who was a founder the Golden Age of Danish painting in the 19th century.   The silent intimacy is evident in Helme’s works.

Helme took many trips to France starting in the 1920’s. His works have a Dega-esque feel and quality about them.  The artist passed away in 1987.

From the nineteenth century, he was influenced by academic painter J. A. D. Ingres, following the poussiniste belief in line as the basis of form in painting (rather than color as was believed by the rubenistes.)

Degas’ first paintings were portraits and historical scenes – regarded highly by the establishment at the time – marked by a strictness of composition. But as he absorbed the perception of his surroundings and of the everyday life of man, Degas’s later work in the 1860s allied him with the Impressionists the following decade.

A type of nineteenth-century humanist, Degas focuses great attention to his subjects (often members of the lower classes) and asserts the aesthetic meaningfulness of their ordinary lives. Particularly memorable are his many ballet scenes, conveying the festive and magnetic atmosphere of the theatre. While revealing beauty, the artist as an objective and subtle observer captures the parallel exhausting, monotonous labour hidden behind the elegant spectacle.

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