ELC
Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archive
Medium
Image rights
Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY

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.

High auction record
$37m, Sotheby's, 2008
Collected by major museums
Tate, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, J. Paul Getty Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery
Selected exhibitions
2019
The Courtauld Collection: A Vision for ImpressionismFondation Louis Vuitton
Degas at the OperaMusée d'Orsay
2018
Degas: A Passion for PerfectionDenver Art Museum
View all

Le défilé, 1866-1888

Oil on paper mounted on canvas
15 7/10 × 24 in
40 × 61 cm
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ELC
Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archive
Medium
Image rights
Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY

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.

High auction record
$37m, Sotheby's, 2008
Collected by major museums
Tate, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, J. Paul Getty Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Edgar Degas
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