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Lifespan: 1834 - 1917
Nationality: French painter
Gender: male
Collection: 397 paintings

Edgar Degas was one of the most prominent artists in the new style of painting which came to be known as Impressionism in France during the late nineteenth century. Born into an aristocratic family, he had the money and opportunity to pursue painting at his leisure. Though he is often categorized with the Impressionists, there are some aspects of his style which undeniably separate him from the rest of his completely Impressionist contemporaries. Despite this fact, he strongly supported the aims of the Impressionist to provide a new support for innovative art styles and promote the new sensibilities regarding art in a new manner. Though many less-savvy art lovers consider all blurry paintings to be of the Impressionist school, there are many other clear-cut differences which separated Degas from the other Impressionists. Some of these differences between Degas and the other Impressionists include the manner of the use of perspective. Degas employed the use of unusual and sharp angles of perspective to create innovative compositions of familiar subjects (such as a ballet performance). Other Impressionist artists tended to focus on wide scale subjects since they practiced their painting en plein air, or outdoors, in order to specifically analyze the light and color to truly determine the first impression of a scene and capture it effectively. However, Degas painted most often from memory after sessions with models or observations of scenes. Another difference between the two is the subject matter itself. Most Impressionists focused on landscape painting whereas Degas did much more work with the human figure and relationships between them than many of his contemporaries. Additionally, Degas also focused on scenes of daily life. In this way, Degas’ practices can be seen as more modern. Degas can also be considered a genre painter to some extent due to his specific focus on a few key daily life activities such as those of the laundress and those relating to the ballet, both formal performances and informal classes and rehearsals in backstage environments. By the late 1870’s, Degas had expanded his art techniques from oil paints to oil pastels, a dry medium which did not need a brush and allowed for new ways of layering color and texture while retaining certain aspects of the line that were more difficult with the wet and slow-drying medium of oil paints. The Dance Class, a work completed in 1873, provides the perfect view of Degas’ talents and abilities. The work was completed in oil paints, despite Degas affinity for the oil pastel medium. The diagonally based perspective of the painting allows the viewer’s eye to travel to the vanishing point of the painting and reminds the viewer of Degas love of experimenting with perspective. At the same time, the bright, yet pastel colors create a beginning impression sense that is one of the reasons behind Degas continued classification with his contemporaries, and close associates, as an Impressionist.


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Dancer Resting 1879-1880 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer Resting 1879-1880

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Dancer Seated (study) 1872 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer Seated (study) 1872

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Dancer Standing (study) 1872 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer Standing (study) 1872

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Dancer Standing on Points 1877 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer Standing on Points 1877

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Dancer with a Bouquet Bowing 1877 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer with a Bouquet Bowing 1877

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Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers 1878-1880 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers 1878-1880

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Dancer with a Fan 1879 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer with a Fan 1879

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Dancer with Bouquets 1890-1895 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer with Bouquets 1890-1895

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Dancer with Raised Arms 1891 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer with Raised Arms 1891

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Dancer with Tambourine 1882 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancer with Tambourine 1882

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Dancers 1878 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers 1878

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Dancers 1895 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers 1895

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Dancers 1895-1900 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers 1895-1900

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Dancers 1898 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers 1898

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Dancers 1899 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers 1899

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Dancers 1900 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers 1900

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Dancers at Green Room 1901 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers at Green Room 1901

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Dancers at the Barre 1900-1905 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers at the Barre 1900-1905

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Dancers at the Old Opera House 1877 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers at the Old Opera House 1877

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Dancers Backstage 1872 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers Backstage 1872

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Dancers behind the Scenes Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers behind the Scenes

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Dancers Bending Down (aka The Ballerinas) 1885 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers Bending Down (aka The Ballerinas) 1885

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Dancers Dressing Room 1878 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers Dressing Room 1878

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Dancers in a Box 1884 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers in a Box 1884

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Dancers in a Studio 1900-1905 Paintings | Edgar Degas paintings

Dancers in a Studio 1900-1905

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