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Artist: Edgar Degas (French 1837-1917)

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Edgar Degas, At the Race Course Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
At the Race Course
Edgar Degas, The Dance Foyer at the Opera Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
The Dance Foyer at the Opera
Edgar Degas, The Dancing Class Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
The Dancing Class
Edgar Degas, L'Absinthe Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
Edgar Degas, The Millinery Shop Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
The Millinery Shop
Edgar Degas, A Carriage at the Races Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
A Carriage at the Races
Edgar Degas, The Cotton Market+ New Orleans Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
The Cotton Market+ New Orleans
Edgar Degas, Jockeys Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
Edgar Degas, Woman Combing her Hair (Pastel on Paper) Fine Art Reproduction Oil Painting
Woman Combing her Hair (Pastel on Paper)
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Degas, Edgar

Edgar Degas Biography Biography

French artist, acknowledged as the master of drawing the human figure in motion. Degas worked in many mediums, preferring pastel to all others. He is perhaps best known for his paintings, drawings, and bronzes of ballerinas and of race horses.

The art of Degas reflects a concern for the psychology of movement and expression and the harmony of line and continuity of contour. These characteristics set Degas apart from the other impressionist painters, although he took part in all but one of the eight impressionist exhibitions between 1874 and 1886.

Edgar Degas was the son of a wealthy banker, and his aristocratic family background instilled into his early art a haughty yet sensitive quality of detachment. As he grew up, his idol was the painter Jean Ingres, whose example pointed him in the direction of a classical draftsmanship, stressing balance and clarity of outline. He started classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts but left in 1854 and went to Italy. He stayed there for 5 years, studying Italian art, especially Renaissance works.

Returning to Paris in 1859, he painted portraits of his family and friends and a number of historical subjects, in which he combined classical and romantic styles. In Paris, Degas came to know Eduoard Manet, and in the late 1860s he turned to contemporary themes, painting both theatrical scenes and portraits.

In the early 1870s the female ballet dancer became his favorite theme. He sketched from a live model in his studio and combined poses into groupings that depicted rehearsal and performance scenes in which dancers on stage, entering the stage, and resting or waiting to perform.

After 1880, Pastel became Degas's preferred medium. He used sharper colors and gave greater attention to surface patterning, depicting milliners, laundresses, and groups of dancers against backgrounds now only sketchily indicated. For the poses, he depended more and more on memory or earlier drawings.

Although he became guarded and withdrawn late in life, Degas retained strong friendships with literary people. In 1881 he exhibited a sculpture, Little Dancer (a bronze casting of which is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), and as his eyesight failed thereafter he turned increasingly to sculpture, modeling figures and horses in wax over metal armatures. These sculptures remained in his studio in disrepair and were cast in bronze only after his death

Best known oil paintings: The Dancing Class, L'Absinthe

You can buy Degas fine art reproduction oil paintings at Bohemian Fine Art. Just select from the top.