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EDGAR DEGAS 1834-1917

French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpting, and drawing.
Edgar Degas (July 19, 1834 - September 27, 1917) was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpting, and drawing. He is also regarded as one of the fathers of impressionism. Throughout his life, Degas had the opportunity to live in many ways, to live many lives. These lives would shape him, and shape his work to reflect true life. He was born on July 19, 1834, in Paris, France to Celestine Musson de Gas, and Augustin de Gas, a banker. The de Gas family was moderately wealthy (Mannering 5). At age 11, Degas began his schooling, and started down the road of art with enrollment in the Lycee Louis Grand (Cannaday 930).

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Degas began to paint seriously early in life; by eighteen he had turned a room in his home into an artist's studio, but he was expected to go to law school as did most aristocratic young men. Degas, however, had other plans and dropped out of law school at age 20. After ending his law career, he studied drawing with Louis Lamothe under whose guidance he flourished, following the style of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (Cannaday 930-931). Degas did, in 1855, meet Ingres (Benedek "Chronology.") and was advised by him to "draw lines"(Cannaday 931). In that same year, Degas received admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (Benedek "Chronology."). The next year, Degas traveled to Italy, where he saw the paintings of Michelangelo, Raphael, and other artists of the Renaissance (Cannaday 931-932).
Degas also had the opportunity, or perhaps curse, of living without monetary security. This occurred after the death of his father, when various debts forced him to sell his collection of art, live more modestly, and depend on his artwork for income (Cannaday 936-937). As the years passed, Degas became isolated due, in part, to his belief "that a painter could have no personal life."(Cannaday 929). As a result of this, he also never married and spent the last years of his life "aimlessly wandering the streets of Paris"(Mannering 7) before dying in 1917.
Degas is often identified as an Impressionist, an understandable, but erroneous belief. (Mannering 7). Degas was different from the impressionists in that he "never adopted the Impressionist color fleck"(Hartt 365). and "disapproved of their work" (Mannering 7). Degas is, however, described more accurately as an impressionist than as a member of any other movement. Impressionism was a short, varied movement during 1860s and 70s that grew out of realism and the ideas of two painters, Courbet and Corot.
Degas, as at best a partial member of the impressionist group, had his own distinct style, one developed from two very different influences, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, and Japanese prints (Dorra, 208). Degas, though famous for horses and dancers, began with conventional historical paintings such as The Young Spartans. During his early career, Degas also painted portraits of both individuals and groups, for example, The Belelli Family. However, even in these early paintings, Degas began to show the style that he would later develop by cropping paintings awkwardly, implying tensions, and portraying historical subjects in a less idealized manner (Mannering 11-13). Also during this early period, Degas painted about the tensions present between men and women (Benedek "Style.").
However, certain features of Degas's work remained the same throughout his life. He always worked in his studio, painting either from memory or models. (Benedek "Style."). Also, Degas often repeated a subject many times(Sellier and Peugeot 39). Finally, Degas painted and drew, with few exceptions, indoor scenes.
The works of Degas were received in varied ways throughout his life, from admiration to contempt. His career as that of a promising artist in the conventional school of art, and in the several years following 1860, Degas had a number of paintings accepted in the Salon. These works received praise from Pierre Puvis de Chavaness and Castagnary, a critic, demonstrating his success in conventional art (Bowness 41-42).
Gallery pictures: Edgar Degas - Woman Combing Her Hair c. 1886, Edgar Degas - L'etoile OR La danseuse sur la scene (The Star OR Dancer on Stage) 1878, Degas Edgar - Dancers Practicing at the Bar 1876-77, Edgar Degas - Dance School c. 1874, Edgar Degas - The Dance Class 1874, Edgar Degas - Mlle Fiocre in the Ballet "The Source" 1867-68, Edgar Degas - A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers 1865, Edgar Degas - Miss Lola, au Cirque Fernando (La La at the Cirque Fernando, Paris) 1879, Edgar Degas - Ballet Dancers in the Wings c. 1900, Edgar Degas - The Dance Examination c. 1880, Degas Edgar - Seated Dancer (Danseuse assise) c. 1879-80, Edgar Degas - Girl Drying Herself 1885
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

COM-ARTS - FINE ART GALLERIES - Just one private site with my prefered artist: John William Waterhouse, William Bouguereau, Lord Frederick Leighton, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, but other artist such as: Jacques Bourboulon, David Hamilton, Grigori Galitsin, Tony Ward, Roy Stuart, Chris Nikolson and many others.
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