Biography of Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

French painter born in Paris on July 19, 1834 and died in the same city on September 27, 1917. In addition to painting, he/she also cultivated sculpture and photography. He/She studied law in his hometown and later at the school of fine arts, where he/she was disciple of Lamothe. He/She travelled to Italy, where it was guided by the masters of the Renaissance style. While his style remained in the traditional line, with influences of Ingres , Puvis, he/she wouldn't express a deep artistic personality who said family Bellelli and Semiramis building a city. Later he/she met Manet, Morisot, Mallarmé and Valéry.

Nude woman combing. Degas. France.

In 1872, he/she traveled to the United States where he/she painted factory of cotton in New Orleans. He/She participated in the first Impressionist Exhibition along with Cezanne, Pissarro, Sisley , and Monet, in 1874, and also in the three following exhibitions, but his works were so badly received as of his comrades.

The success of Degas and the Impressionist was in general not to produce up to 1900. Degas always attached greater importance to drawings that color, said that drawing was not the way, even if the way of seeing this. From 1880 created lot of portraits and genre scenes: the ironer, anger, rape and wormwood. He/She showed much interest in the opera and the ballet, and painted pictures of dancers: Mlle. Fiocre in the ballet of the source, Robert the devil and lesson of Dance Ballet. He/She was also inspired by horse racing and the Circus: Miss Lala at the circus Fernando.

Lesson of dance (1872). Musee d´Orsay (Paris).

In the last years of his life, he/she used the cake, which produced some masterpieces, almost all naked female, treated with great freedom of expressive deformation and composition. Also modeled admirable sculptures of dancers, when already he/she could not paint due to his view that refused to color. Degas was built based on lines and tended to the establishment of subtle harmonies between the masses and the color.

At his death, was discovered a total of 150 sculptures in his Studio, a group in which highlighted a young dancer and a series of bronzes with figures of horses. An activity just known of Degas, and that it has been highlighted an exhibition at the National Library of Paris during the month of August 1999, is the photograph, which showed a special interest in the portrait with artificial light and long exposure time.

He was one of the great renewers of the painting of his time and exerted one strong influence among Bonnarde, Suzanne Valadon , Toulouse-Lautrecand Vuillard, among others.

A major exhibition, inaugurated in October 2004, gathered at the Museum of the Vittoriano in Rome, more than 200 parts (including paintings, sculptures, and photographs) of all phases of the artist.


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