This essay will cover the similarities and differences between two Artworks ” The Little fourteen -Year- Old Dancer” and ” Baboon and young”. Discussion about this works of Art will be based on the field man’s analysis, thus description, analysis, interpretation and judgement on the subject matter, media and size, location and literal qualities, social, cultural and political issues surrounding the creation of the Artworks but in the form of compare and contrast. I will also discuss how these inspirational sources have contributed to my final project outcome with regard to composition and technique.
Baboon and young and The little fourteen year old dancer are free-standing sculptures depicting life through different animals. These artworks are of different sizes, The little fourteen year old dancer is 104.5 cm while The baboon and young is 21cm respectively. They are both made the same media casted bronze. The fourteen year old dancer has been portrayed wearing a bronze vest and shoes, a cotton skirt and satin ribbon a combination which displays different surface qualities thus creating a strong contrast of tactile texture. This is emphasized by Ragans R. (2002: 203) by saying:
What an unusual combination of textures!
The figure of the Young dancer is cast in bronze.
Even the vest and the ballet Shoes she wears are
bronze. To that degas added a skirt made of gauzelike
fabric in a stain hair ribbon.
The composition comprising of a series of diagonal lines as shown by the posture of the head, torso and legs in The little fourteen year old dancer thus suggesting a subtle or calm movement are not visible on The baboon and young. The curvy and diagonal employed on skirt to show the folds have further illustrated the idea of subtle movement on the little fourteen year old dancer while on the baboon and young we see meal strips at the back of the tail.
The Baboon and young is made by Pablo Picasso around 1955while The little fourteen year old dancer was made by Edgar Degas in 1880.Picasso’s work was found in the Museum of modern art in New York and Degas’s is currently exhibited at the Metropolitan museum of Art in New York. They were both found in New York. Both of the two charming Art made using the same techniques . Picasso casted bronze as well as Degas the only difference is that Degas added cotton on the skirt a and satin ribbon.
Organic shapes are mostly dominating in both sculptures as compared to geometric shapes, therefore, these bring a sense of three dimensionality or form hence resembling the nature of a Baboon and a young female dancer. They both portray a strong sense of balance though its irregular symmetry and they are static man-made artworks. In the little dancer balance have been achieved through a posture in which the head is thrown backwards and chest pushing outward while in The Baboon and young balance is achieved by a tail hanging diagonally and a baby on the chest of the Baboon pulling it forward. Space has been used effectively in both pieces.
Both Artists displayed a creative use of space to render the flow of the pose. For instance, the space between the legs arms as well as the facial gaze into distance complement the action of a female dancer at the end of performance and a female Baboon after being blessed with a baby. Besides , The little dancer and The Baboon and young both have a lifelike presence and they feel like animals they represent instead of looking like them. That is they both show a real life situations.
Though Picasso’s work is simplified and stylised, it is detailed in some way. By looking at the Baboon’s head which is a model of a toy car , there are human head like figures appearing on the car’s windscreen which symbolises the eyes of the baboon. There is also a grill of the same car which suggests a nose and the mudguards suggesting the baboon’s cheekbones or jaws. A thick bold curvy line under the grill of the toy car suggests the smiling mouth of a baboon. All this features symbolises a bright happy face of a baboon which indicates that it is really it’s joyful moment during a summer season. The reason for saying it is summer is that summer is the season of reproduction and this baboon is holding it’s young one. One can tell from the gigantic smile shown on the face that the baboon has been blessed with a baby.
Comparing with Picasso’s work , The little dancer ‘s pose portrays a captured moment in time during a performance. Both the facial and bodily gesture, that is the half opened eyes into infinity, and diagonal right leg suggest a moment of suspense. That is the time when the dancer has just finished a performance and taking a deep breath of relief-eye half closed, lips tightly closed and breath taken in through the nostrils. This posture shows that the Little girl is happy about what she has done and she is proud about it. Looking at a combination of her clothing we can say that this little girl is a dancer by profession. It also shows that it is summer . I say this because summer is the period of celebrations and this girl was dancing in a celebration. The design of the vest and the skirt also depicts the sense of summer. These features shows a posture that suggest the action of a flexible young female dancer at the verge of a performance thus showing how young ones are active in life.
Both of these impressive works were very much successful which means Picasso and Degas achieved their goals. The Baboon and young in particular evokes emotional turmoil about how females like their young ones. The little fourteen -year old dancer also shows how females accepts and promotes nature in their lives. I can say, literally, the Baboon is appreciating what is being done by The little dancer and so it does not regret having a child but instead hope that it’s young one would be successful in life like this girl.
I can also say looking at The little girl we can say she is performing on the birthday party of a newly born baboon on Picasso’s work.Texture and gradation of value in both artworks gives a sense of three dimensionality and life. These artworks portray the personality of the artists who made them, that is, they are creative more especially with the use of media, styles even the way they made their pieces. Apparently the artists might have been living in an environment where there was a lot of happiness and so they are showing it in different ways.
The overall view about The little fourteen-year old dancer and The baboon and young is that, they poses different qualities but are the same in some way. A great distinction can made looking at the details indicated in both sculpture’s heads. The Baboon’s head is more detailed than the, The little dancer’s but they are both free standing sculptures. Due to some features mentioned earlier in the essay, the two artworks depict the same message, they communicate how females are the happiest creatures on earth and how happiness can be shown in different ways.
I equally like both of these artworks due to the fact that lots and lots of creativity is shown in both of them. They are also interesting and eye catching and they portray a strong message. These inspirational sources have contributed to my final project which is HAPPINESS. My projects shows people dancing to a traditional music thus depicting the message that even in our tradition we have our own ways of showing happiness.
Edgar Degas,(1879).Olga’s Gallery ,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.Retrived:July 2004, from http://www.abcgallery.com/D/degas/degas47.html
Janson. H.W (1995), History of Art, Harry. N. Abrams .New York
Ragans R.(1999) Art talk (2ed) Mc Graw-Hill.New York