Lessons from the art tour 2
This famous Degas painting reminded me that the revered artists in the museums that I visited were interesting, opinionated, and witty people. Clearly pimping for the woman beside the building, this rat-faced man is catching the ear of some gentlemen in a line up.
What I loved was the economy of one of the men's hands. They're a pink scribble, with the most important feature crisply defined: the wedding band.
I also had a laugh when I realized that the black-shod foot visible at the bottom of the pimp's coat was not connected to any figure, but was, instead, a sly joke protruding from the pimp's pants.
As I stood in the grand museum, looking at what was essentially a naughty joke and a keenly-observed piece of social commentary, Degas felt very human and close. I've read that he was prickly, but I think I'd have liked him.
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