Edgar Degas

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Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834-1917), French painter. In 1854-1859 he traveled to Italy studying the Old Masters; by 1860 Degas had drawn over 700 copies of other works, mainly early Italian Renaissance and French classical art.[1] Degas was a great painter of Impressionism, yet differed from most other Impressionists because he detested painting outside. "Art is not a sport" he once said.[2] He loved to paint ballerinas and horse racing. He is also known for his "slice of life" paintings of working-class people. Some of his most well known paintings are "The Glass of Absinthe" and "Prima Ballerina".

The Star.
Spartan Girls Challenging Boys, ca. 1860-62, one of the most important historical work of his early period.

In 1862, Degas meets Edouard Manet in the Louvre while copying Diego Velázquez's painting The Infanta Margarita; later at the Café Guerbois located at 11 grade rue des Batignolles (today 9 avenue de Clichy), he gathers with other avant-garde artists such as Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Henri Fantin-Latour, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Jean-Frédéric Bazille, and Camille Pissarro. [1] He and his contemporaries, known as the Impressionists, organized independent exhibitions in which they showed their controversial work. Degas participated in all the group exhibitions except that of 1882.

Degas amassed a collection of art so vast and of such substance that he considered establishing his own private museum to house it. [2]


Edgar Degas, Count Lepic and His Daughters; Theft from E.G. Bührle Collection, Zurich.

Count Lepic and His Daughters; Theft from E.G. Bührle Collection.

See also

Portrait of Hilaire de Gas, 1857, his grandfather.

External links


  1. Biography.
  2. Artists Who Influenced Van Gogh
On the Racing Field, 1861.
Sea landscape with sandy beach at low tide, 1869.