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Life Portrait Artists

The Blue Dancers (1899) by Edgar Degas can possibly be recognized as one of the greatest ever pastel drawings. Living, breathing figures captured in a moment they may have deemed a banal peek into their everyday life. To draw from life, or “figure draw," usually refers to the instructional class taught in many schools and academies of fine art. The pastel, charcoal or humble pencil thus signifies the beginnings of an artist's career. It is often regarded as the most ideal way for artists to render the human body and master its line, depth and shape necessary for the portrait, a valuable skill. However, life portraiture often captures the body in motion causing the artist to depict muscle action, direction and perspective. Though the 19th century produced Degas, it also produced the camera and the focus on artists to depict movement – to snapshot life. In Artsper's own selections, the works of life portrait artist Marc Desgrandchamps are inspired by the decomposition of the movement of Eadweard Muybridge's chronophotographic experiments. Whilst Alejandra Caballero's work is much more introspective, noting that the quieter, more subtle movements in life, such as talking on the phone or taking a bath, must also be captured.

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