24 September 2011

Serpentine Dance

I went to London yesterday for an artistic double header: the new Degas exhibition at the Royal Academy and the John Martin exhibition at the Tate Britain.

The Great Day of His Wrath

John Martin was a 19th century English artist popular for his overblown apocalyptic paintings but rather forgotten nowadays . Still it was enjoyable to see a representative collection of his work.

The Degas exhibition was superb.I had long suspected that Degas had had a photographer's eye. His ability to capture movement is something I would kill for! Part of the exhibition concerned his interest in the likes of Eadward Muybridge (whose studies of human and animal movenent was the subject of an extensive and utterly fascinating exhibition at the Tate Britain late last year) and lo! Degas' own work with the camera.

One item that brought me up short and had me watching in rapt admiration for an age. and it was the above film. Made by the Lumiere Brothers it features an unnamed artist performing Loie Fuller's Serpentine Dance. I had never seen this film before but I know I want to watch it again and again.

NB the frames in this from hand painting each frame rather than using an early colour film


Anonymous said...

that painting is fantastic

peppylady (Dora) said...

I have to agree with Myra it a fantastic painting. But I look at the wrath or apocalyptic as a strange duck.

Coffee is on.

Gattina said...

I have seen the Degas exposition years ago in Paris. I was a little disappointed because the colors were not as vivid as on the photos (of course) The video is just like a Whirling Dervish, it's exactly the same and it's performed in Egypt now for tourists, but it's always danced by men. It's transmitted from Father to son etc. (http://gattinawritercramps.blogspot.com/2007/11/wordless-wednesday_1200.html)

jams o donnell said...

It is truly apocalyptic isn't it Nursie!

I know what you mean Dora. Still it is a fine painting to behold!

Ah now that's true. Take the dress away and it would look like a Dervish, Gattina

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yep, the dance has some bewitching quality to it.

jams o donnell said...

It certainly does!

Stan said...

That dance is amazing and magical.

jams o donnell said...

It certainly is one that made me stop and look for a long time Stan