Edgar Degas – French

Learn More About Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist. A superb draughtsman, he is especially identified with the subject of the dance, and over half his works depict dancer. While he continuously belittled the practices of Impressionist artists, his scenes of Parisian life, off-center compositions, experiments with color and form, and his friendships with several key Impressionist artists all relate him intimately with the movement.

At the beginning of his career, he sought to become a history painter, a field he was well prepared for from his rigorous academic training and close study of classic art. In his early thirties, he changed course and brought the traditional methods of a history painter together with contemporary subject matter, becoming a classical painter of modern life.

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