Edgar Degas

French, 1834–1917

11,015 followers
Follow

Edgar Degas

French, 1834–1917

11,015
Followers
Biography

Though he rejected the label, Edgar Degas contributed significantly to Impressionism with his depictions of fleeting moments and images of modern Parisian life—in theaters, cafés, and, most iconically, ballet studios. “It is much better to draw what you can't see anymore but is in your memory,” he said. “You only reproduce what struck you, that is to say the necessary.” Degas was trained in a traditional academic style, which is particularly evident in the classical subjects of his early works, and he was a master draftsman and capturer of emotions. As his practice evolved, he developed a profound interest in the poses and physicality of ballet, producing approximately 1,500 depictions of dancers over the course of his career. Like many of his contemporaries, Degas was influenced by Japanese prints, which inspired him to experiment with asymmetrical compositions and unusual vantage points. He also worked in a wide range of mediums and techniques, and was particularly known for his use of pastel to depict the figure with an almost sculptural solidity.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$37m, Sotheby's, 2008
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Britain, and 4 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and 12 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 5 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 1 more
Biography

Though he rejected the label, Edgar Degas contributed significantly to Impressionism with his depictions of fleeting moments and images of modern Parisian life—in theaters, cafés, and, most iconically, ballet studios. “It is much better to draw what you can't see anymore but is in your memory,” he said. “You only reproduce what struck you, that is to say the necessary.” Degas was trained in a traditional academic style, which is particularly evident in the classical subjects of his early works, and he was a master draftsman and capturer of emotions. As his practice evolved, he developed a profound interest in the poses and physicality of ballet, producing approximately 1,500 depictions of dancers over the course of his career. Like many of his contemporaries, Degas was influenced by Japanese prints, which inspired him to experiment with asymmetrical compositions and unusual vantage points. He also worked in a wide range of mediums and techniques, and was particularly known for his use of pastel to depict the figure with an almost sculptural solidity.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$37m, Sotheby's, 2008
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Britain, and 4 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and 12 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 5 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Edgar Degas
Articles Featuring Edgar Degas
Untangling the Symbolism of Art History’s Most Famous Redheads
May 24th, 2019
Untangling the Symbolism of Art History’s Most Famous Redheads
Harsh Realities Lurk behind Picturesque Impressionist Masterpieces
Mar 7th, 2019
Harsh Realities Lurk behind Picturesque Impressionist Masterpieces
Rediscovering the Black Muses Erased from Art History
Oct 9th, 2018
Rediscovering the Black Muses Erased from Art History
The Sordid Truth behind Degas’s Ballet Dancers
Oct 1st, 2018
The Sordid Truth behind Degas’s Ballet Dancers
Navigate right