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Artist Edgar Degas had a unique style which sat somewhere between Impressionism and Realism.
His paintings remain amongst the most loved in all of art history.
You will find a selection of some of the more famous paintings in this section. Race course scenes can be found here as well as many portrait. Human and animal anatomy was clearly an interest for Degas, and he developed the skills to reproduce them accurately.
Drawing as a foundation to painting
Life in Paris
Parisian life offered this artist a wealth of inspirations for his work, from the rich cultural experiences of cafe life to the richer past times of the Paris elite. Degas was someone who found interest in all walks of life, not just the richest.
The images of his work that you will find below provide examples of cutting edge impressionism and realism, which helped to shape the future of European art. Degas was your talented but sometimes brash and unwelcoming artist. He was someone you would always respect, but not necessarily like in a social sense.
Traditional artistic education
Broad range of themes in Degas' oeuvre
This was an artist who would cover all main themes during his career, including facial portraits, landscapes and full length anatomical studies. There was an uncertainty in France during the early years of his life and this was matched by an art world which was enjoying new influences. Impressionism was to build momentum, with Degas a key figure.
His slightly different style and opinionated character meant his relationship with other impressionists was rarely comfortable. In the 1890s Degas took a new direction in his work, concentrating entirely on landscape painting for several years. This followed a fallow period where the artist had clearly been introspecting over a possible new series of work that could inspire him once more.
Inspiration from travel
A desire to distance himself from the likes of Monet did not translate as a disliking for his work. On the contrary, the influence of Monet is clear to see within this period of his life. Whilst Monet would often work plein-air, memory was key to Degas' landscapes. He would retire to his studio with scenes clearly laid out in his mind from earlier trips. Ingres had indeed advised this course of action to him as a budding student.