Edgar Degas - biography and paintings of the artist

  • Year of birth: July 19, 1834
  • Date of death: September 27, 1917
  • A country: France


Edgar Degas (1834-1917) - perhaps the most classic of the impressionists. He studied at the School of Fine Arts under the guidance of one of the students of the famous artist Ingres, an admirer of the art of antiquity and in general classical painting. The teacher had a great influence on Degas, which in one way or another he carried through his entire creative path. After graduating from the School, Degas went to Italy to learn from the old masters: Bellini, Botticelli and others, copying their canvases.
In 1862, in the halls of the Louvre, Degas met Edouard Manet, who changed his life. Through him, he meets the future impressionists - Monet and Renoir. The rapprochement with the Impressionists marked the beginning of a new stage in the artist's work. However, the old training still made itself felt. If the impressionists considered their most important principle to paint a picture from life, then this is not the case with Degas. He liked to repeat that he should "observe without drawing, and draw without observing." Degas did not approve of the desire of the Impressionists to work in the open air. In general, he did not have much in common with them. With them he was brought closer by the desire to move away from the academic patterns, the appeal to the themes of modern life, a true depiction of moments of living life. The names of his paintings speak for themselves: "Dance Lesson", "Wounded Jockey", "Ironworker", "Jockeys in front of the stands", "At the dressmaker", etc.
Degas loved to portray people, especially women.but not posing in a stiff pose, but as if taken aback after their occupations, in their characteristic postures, with their inherent gestures. The artist became interested in the theme of ballet in the 1870s. Representing dancers, the artist seeks to capture them not on the stage in all its glory, no, he prefers to show us working days behind the scenes. Such are the paintings "Dancers in Rehearsal" (1874?), "Dancer in a Photographer" (1875), "Waiting" (1880), "Two Dancers" (1898), etc.
One day, in response to a question why he so often addresses the topic of ballet, he reluctantly responded: "They call me a painter of dancers; they do not understand that dancers served me only as an excuse to write beautiful fabrics and transmit movements."

From the 1870s he became passionate about pastels, combining the qualities of painting and drawing at the same time. This technique suited to the artistic tastes of Degas, who bowed before the line. "I am a colorist through the line", - he used to say. The Impressionists prayed to another god, color.

Paintings by Edgar Degas

Woman at the vase with flowers
Combing hair
Blue dancers
Four dancers
Dancer at the photographer
Combing woman
Place de la Concorde
Ironing machines
Ballet class
Ballet rehearsal

Watch the video: Degas Biography from Goodbye-Art Academy (February 2020).