Passing Degas

Annabel Crabb reports on an uproar in Federal Parliament yesterday regarding the National Gallery’s purchase of a $1.1 million painting of a woman going to the toilet. It’s by Degas. The gallery bought it at an auction. In the interests of protecting any prudish readers I have painted clothes onto her to include her here.


In the real thing she’s not wearing any clothes. Seems a little tasteless to me. The opposition seized on the opposition to slam the Government for the national institution’s decision to purchase the painting rather than using the money to create jobs (some of the money came from taxpayers, most from benefactors).

Line of the day:

“”It’s not as if this is Blue Poles. It’s Yellow Pools!” protested one Opposition tactician, believed to be Joe Hockey.”

So should the Government be spending money on foreign art? Aren’t Australian artists going hungry? This could have fed twenty artists in Australia for a year – and paid for 20 paintings.


Amy says:

They panned the purchase of Blue Poles as well. Now it is one of the country’s treasured items.

And quite frankly, quite a lot of art features people without any clothes on. Doesn’t make it bad or good, just a very common artistic trope and very standard to the era of the painting.

Nathan says:

But naked and going to the toilet? Surely that’s not the standard of any era. I really only posted this because of Hockey’s Blue Poles call.

Amy says:

Degas and Lautrec et al were all about capturing life in all its detail and seediness – not just the posed and sanitised portraits that had been done before.

The comment was quite good really.

Basically, a Degas will always be worth something, even if it is one of his crap ones.