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Edgar Degas and impressionism


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“Just when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do behalf things.” These acclaimed words are of a circumstance Impressionist painter, Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas, belonging to the 19th century. Born on July 19, 1834, in Paris, France, to Degas E C?lestine Musson De Gas and Augustin De Gas, Edgar Degas was the eldest of the five kids the couple had.

Though he was one of the succeeds of Impressionism, Edgar Degas preferred to be addressed as a Realist. An Impressionist paints the realities of the world using thestrokes of colors to impart the impression of reflected light. Degas’ work however, was experimental and focused on the subjects familiar & interesting to him. This approach of his gave him an edge over other contemporary Impressionists and therefore, he believed in being called a Realist.

The work of Degas was coexistent and his work depicted the ambiguities of human relationships. To understand the complex human emotional and mental constitution and expressions, he used to research a lot and for a better gathering of facts, he mostly painted the people close to him such as, his relatives & friends. In the series of his pursuit only, he painted his famous “Self Portrait” in 1855. Several paintings of Edgar depicted ordinary people in contemporary dresses and wearing enigmatic facial expressions. These artworks of Edgar often compel their viewers to inquire about them, while some even find these paintings strikingly similar to their adjustment or ballgame.

Degas successfully illustrateed his everyday experiences through his works, which undoubtedly reflect the beauty of realism. Some of Edgar’s famous paintings include but are certainly not limited to, “The Singer with the Glove” (1878), “Musicians in the Orchestra” (1872), “Miss Lala at the Circus Fernando” (1879), “Ballet Rehearsal” (1873), “Stage Rehearsal” (1878), “Dancers at the Bar” (1888), and “Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers.”

At the peak of his career as a painter, he deeply admired the natural beauty, physicality to be specific rather than the facial expressions, of women through his work. Degas painted many assuming paintings reflecting females in their private moments. Some of these women oriented paintings of Edgar Degas include, “Woman in the Bath” (1886), “The Tub” (1886), “After the Bath” (1896-98), “After the Bath, Woman Drying her Nape” (1898), and “La Toilette (Woman Combing her Hair)” (1884-86).

Owing to failing health and continuously blurring eyesight with age, Degas began to make sculptures, which were also admired. One of his sculptures, “Little Dancer of Fourteen Years” (1980-81), attained controversial fame, as in the eighth Impressionist Exhibition in 1986, critics called the artwork “ugly,” while some others termed it as “blossoming.” In his last years, Edgar could hardly see. Degas eventually passed away on September 27, 1917, in Paris. His essence though continues to rein the world of art through his belief, “Art isn’t something you marry, its something you rape.” -Edgar Degas

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Is is also a venue for artists to display and sell their art . Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited. Please visit the website at

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  • Posted On June 11, 2012
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