Using examples from The Rehearsal by Edgar Degas (Miscellaneous List), explain asymmetrical balance, emphasis/subordination, directional forces, and contrast.
In the painting The Rehearsal by Edgar Degas there are a few different techniques used to show asymmetrical balance, emphasis/subordination, directional forces, and contrast. These all bring the painting together, and make it flow.
Asymmetrical balance is the use of sides of the painting that do not match to balance out a picture visually. Many artists do this by using weight or color. Degas shows this by having all the dancers on one side of the room to balance out many things such as the light on the floor and the tree outside the window. The heaviness of the empty concrete floor also creates a sense of balance in contrast to the fullness of the left side of the room.
The next thing that Degas uses is emphasis, which a method an artist uses to draw attention to an area. This may be done using central placement, large size, and bright color. This technique is used in many places but perhaps the most obvious emphasis is used on the empty part of the floor. The light coming through the window paints it in an attempt to draw the viewer’s eyes to the bright color against the shadows on the wall and surrounding floor.
Next is the directional force, which refers to anything that pulls the eyes along a given or implied line. This is used with the pointing of the girls’ legs and feet pointing all in the same direction. The man in the front’s bow he is using to play his violin is also along the same line as those same dancers. This all drags your eyes to the end to your focal point.
Last but definitely not least is Degas’ use of contrast. Contrast is the use of clashing color to once again draw the eyes. The largest example of this is the man in front. The dark suit he is in is an extreme use of contrast. The dark against the light of the rest of the room is used very well to draw your eyes to him....
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