One of the remarkable features of the “first glance” impression is that it can be taken as personification of common sense, i.e. opposite of carelessness in a perception. The first glance, as if, “believes” that it registers a stable and basic world, it seems realistic, rooted in human eyes, a kind of an experienced playmate of space and material things settled in it. So, when we see in the painting Diego Martelli, an Italian journalist sitting on a light chair, we confidently don’t question our impression. We see that he is sitting right there, may be, not too comfortably, but for sure. We know this. The first glance takes itself seriously, with self-respect. It is not visualizing Diego Martelli as Degas sees him. Degas’ daring connotative contour of his protagonist’s sitting posture impressively undermines what our eyes tell us: that Diego Martelli is sitting. It is, as if, Degas is saying that in art, when man is sitting it is not necessarily so.
Degas, as if, trapping us inside our own vision to prove to us that we are “blind“. We look again and we begin to see more – that Diego Martelli is not sitting but… dancing. He, probably, just wrote a piece which he is very pleased with. His thoughts continue to swim using his papers and folders like sliding boats. He is dancing and balancing with posture of his arms the joyful movements of his legs. His folding chair is, as if, already falling down, and his legs are rushing up and down by the energy of his cheerfulness. Diego Martelli is dancing while sitting, but isn’t it the same as to say that he is sitting while dancing? Isn’t the action of the soul more important than the action of the body – isn’t dancing of the soul more substantial than the sitting of the body?