Edgar Degas
French, 1834-1917
High auction record
£13m, Christie's, 2008
Collected by major museums
Tate, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, J. Paul Getty Museum
Selected exhibitions
Degas: A Passion for Perfection,
Denver Art Museum
From the Hands of the Masters II: From Parmigianino to Matisse,
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade,
Legion of Honor

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 …

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