Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Edgar Degas

I learned a few new interesting facts about Edgar Degas while reading Trewin Copplestone's book, Edgar Degas, to my art therapy client.

Edgar Degas who lived from 1834-1917, became a professional painter through a change in his family's fortunes. He grew up the privileged son of wealthy and cultured parents and despite his interest in art was destined for a career in law until the failure of the family back. Not the typical starving artist!

Rene-Hilaire De Gas

Edgar Degas was 23 years old when he painted this portrait of his grandfather.

Degas, being the oldest grandson, spent a great deal of time with his grandfather who was the source of his financial security.

More than any of his famous contemporaries, while possibly excluding Manet, Degas was a traditionalist painter. He was dismissive of the Impressionist technique as a method, although he participated in most of the group's early exhibitions. As a result, he is more closely allied in popular understanding with Impressionism than he himself ever wished to be.

Best know for his paintings of ballet dancers, Degas was an urbane and savagely witty man, choosing his subjects from the cultured society life of Paris in which he was a well known figure.

The Green Dancers
Pastel and Gouache

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