Purchase, Joseph and Margaret Muscarelle Art Endowment Fund
Steeped in an understanding of classical Renaissance art, Paul Cadmus combined careful, exacting draftsmanship with the somewhat unusual medium of tempera paint. Inspired by the techniques of such Old Masters as Luca Signorelli and Andrea Mantegna, Cadmus applied his careful design to the treatment of the human figure. He believed that the ballet, like painting, encouraged and proliferated a certain respect for academic standards, and the daily classes of the School of American Ballet in New York provided him with subject matter for several decades. This small canvas, a virtuosic display of foreshortening reminiscent of Renaissance masterpieces, demonstrates his deep reverence for the beauty of of the human figure.