The dancers, 1898
Edgar Degas was one of the great masters of the pastel, a medium he favored throughout his career. Starting in the 1870s, Degas tirelessly explored movement, light and color in a series of pastels dedicated to the theme of dancers and created a work that is unparalleled in terms of beauty and innovation.
In The Dancers (1898), a late masterpiece, Degas used the medium with a freedom and power that would believe his failing sight. He skillfully defined shapes with short, bold, parallel pastel strokes in bold colors and added dabs of white chalk like pearl necklaces to liven up the surface of his dancers' clothes.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Online Collection, www.lacma.org