Two Dancers Resting
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, French, 1834 - 1917
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This preparatory drawing is executed in charcoal and red chalk on dark beige tracing paper. Degas mounted his initial sketch on cardboard to increase the size of the drawing surface, a practice he commonly employed. However, in this piece Degas did not extend the drawing. The bold strokes convey the sense of the artist actively working out his image, erasing and smudging the charcoal in the arms, hands, and faces and possibly wetting the stick of charcoal or applying a wet brush to create darker accents, as in the heel of the figure at right.