In his first masterpiece, “Cirque Fernando: The Equestrienne” (1888) we can see the similarity of Edgar Dega’s “Miss Lala at the Cirque Fernando” (1879). We can see both of the paintings have cut away figures by the edges of the painting, one of the Japanese style influence.
The power of this painting lies in the art of color and composition which are carefully planned and executed by Toulouse-Lautrec. The horse is seen at an angle, from the rear, galloping from the lower right into the heart of picture, the way ahead marked by the red ranks of seats. The diagonal dynamic which splits the picture into two sections was a favourite device with Japanese artists too. He retains empty space in the center of the canvas, a startling unusual effect for contemporaries used to compositions with a central focus. The two asymmetrical parts are linked through dynamic gestures and movements: the horse is moving forward and to the left to the open space of the circus ring, while the master of ceremonies on the left is cracking his whip across the empty space of the central foreground. This action of the ringmaster creates a bridge to the horse and rider. The clown fooling about on the left and a second one on a platform further back, as well as the seated audience are cut away by the edges of the painting. A well planned composition.
Posted by shakurani at 8:37 PM