Hilaire Germain de Gas, more commonly known as Edgar Degas was born in 1834 and died in 1917 in Paris in France. He is one of the figures of Impressionism, which also included Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir or even Paul Cézanne.
Son of a banker, Degas grew up in a cultured environment. He studied law at the university but gave up in 1855 in favor of the Print room of the French National Library where he drew and copied works of Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt.
The same year, he took lessons at Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but he prefered to go directly to Italy to learn from Italian masters. It was also at this time that he painted "The Bellelli Family", representing his aunt, her husband and their children, all Italian.
Despite his comings and goings to Italy but also to New Orleans and Prussia, Edgar Degas frequented many parts of Paris as evidenced by works such as "The Dance Foyer at the Opera on the Rue le Peletier" or "The Absinthe Drinker".The artist was interested in the world of entertainment, theater, dance, and made them his favorite themes, as seen through works such as "The Star" and "Miss la la at the Fernando Circus".
Another major theme is feminine silhouettes: "The Tub" and "Woman Combing her Hair" are examples of his interest in the feminine curves. But what is special is that the artist painted from memory, unlike most artists who worked with a model.
Edgar Degas is interested very few Landscapes he painted on rare occasions. He prefers to focus on the female figures. His paintings, which are a mixture of dazzling colors and movements are still famous.
Although Degas’ art is difficult to classify, it is often associated with the impressionist movement (Impressionism), which emerged in France at the end of the 19th century.
Nevertheless, Degas developed a very personal style with a preference for indoors subjects rather than the open-air scenes favoured by the impressionist painters.
The 10 masterpieces presented here are a good illustration of Degas’ preferred themes: the show, the bath, family portraits and the working classes.
Enjoy your visit!
Edgar Degas: "The Bellelli Family" (c.1858-60, (Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)
Edgar Degas: "Race Horses" (1866-68, (Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)
Edgar Degas: "Ballet Rehearsal on the Set" (1872, (Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)
Edgar Degas: "Portraits in a New Orleans Cotton Office"(1873, Musée des Beaux-Arts - Museum of Fine Arts, Pau)
Edgar Degas: "The Absinthe Drinker" (c.1875-76, (Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)
Edgar Degas: "The Star" (1878, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)
Edgar Degas: "Miss la la at the Fernando Circus" (1879, National Gallery, London)
Edgar Degas: "Women Ironing" (c.1884-86, (Musée d'Orsay - Orsay Museum, Paris)
Edgar Degas: "The Tub" (1886, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)
Edgar Degas: "Woman Combing her Hair" (c.1887-90, Musée du Louvre - Louvre Museum, Paris)