Simulations of Ailing Artists’ Eyes Yield New Insights on Style

An ophthalmologist in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. James G. Ravin, who has collaborated with Dr. Marmor in the past, suggested that Degas’s return to pastels and his interest in sculpture might have arisen from seeking an easier-to-control medium.

The simulations showed that the draftsmanship became less detailed and the shadowing coarsened as Degas’s sight deteriorated. Even so, Dr. Marmor said, his work would have looked smoother to him than it actually was.

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I have heard Dr. Ravin speak about this at the art museum and it is really very interesting. The museum has some lovely works by Degas - it is worth the trip to check them out. Admission is free.

Thank you for posting the article.

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