Posted by: Rajesh Shukla | October 19, 2010

Degas, Dance, Design


‘They [some painters contemporary with Degas—A.T.] managed to confuse exercise with opus, and took as an end what should merely be means. Nothing could be more “modern”. For a work to be “finished”, all that reveals or suggests its manufacture has to be made invisible. The artist, according to
the time-honoured stipulation, must show himself only in his style, and must keep up his exertions until his labour has erased every trace of labour. However, as concern with the individual and with the moment gradually came to prevail over concern with the work itself and its perpetuation, that condition for finishing began to seem not only useless and tedious, but actually at variance with truth, sensitivity and the manifestation of genius. Personality became all-important, even for the public. The sketch acquired the value of the picture’

—Paul Valéry in his ” Degas, Dance, Design”

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