The Bold Five

I Saw the Figure Five in Gold by Charles Demuth, 1928, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The subject of this painting is the poet William Carlos Williams whose poem The Red Wheelbarrow is a favorite among literature students because it is short and sweet. Demuth created a series of abstract portraits of friends including Williams which he called Poster Portraits.

Setting the Scene


Dancers in the Wings by Edgar Degas, c. 1878, Norton Simon Foundation, Pasadena, CA.



Dancer Adjusting Her Slipper by Edgar Degas, 1873, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Charcoal sketch which Degas used in a painting which is why he has added the grid lines to the drawing. He is well known for his superior ability to draw and to fade into the background so that he could capture a scene without influencing what was happening.