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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

The Figure, Degas and Diebenkorn

This presentation is designed to prepare secondary art educators to plan a unit on figure drawing. Both Edgar Degas and Richard Diebenkorn, whose drawings (and lithographs)shown here were executed a little less than 100 years apart, focused on essential gestural lines to depict female models. Diebenkorn's figures are usually shown closer to the viewer and in more relaxed poses primarily because they were actually posing for the artist where the women in the Degas' drawings appear more demure and unaware of being captured. The lines, however, tell us about each woman in the moment whether she is sitting directly in front of us or caught drying herself in the far corner of the room. Both artists used bold lines, purposeful lines, contour lines, gestural lines and delicate lines to invite us to view women at rest and women at work.

Created By

Kate Furlong


History/Social Studies

Grade Level

9-12, 6-8