Edgar Degas, major works and video 600 paintings

Famous for his dancers, Edgar Degas (1834–1917) is often considered one of the masters of Impressionism, a classification he denied; the painter defined himself as a realist and an independent. Passionate about the study of movement, he attached himself to all the motifs that represented life: dance, of races, but also horse racing. Like his friend Manet, Degas was one of the great painters of modern life, of cafe scenes, brothels, laundresses. The work of this Parisian and bourgeois artist, very cultivated and collector, is marked by his knowledge of the great masters, Ingres particularly, of whom he was considered as one of the heirs by the quality of his drawing. He said “No art is as little spontaneous as mine. What I do is the result of the reflection and study of the great masters. " His life Born in Paris in 1834, Edgar Degas comes from a bourgeois background . He is the bearer of a triple culture: Italian through his father, American through his mother and Parisian through birth. Degas studied at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, from which he graduated in 1853. Gifted for the arts, prolific designer, he stopped studying law and joined the studio of a student of Ingres, Louis Lamothe. The classical tradition marks the first part of his work: Degas first exhibited History paintings at the Salon, before joining independent circles and participating in all the Impressionist exhibitions between 1874 and 1886 (except in 1882), with subjects inspired by contemporary life. Although having traveled to Louisiana and Italy, he remains very attached to Paris. From the 1870's, Degas took an interest in the world of opera and dance, which constitutes a major theme in his pictorial and sculptural work. Evolving in a social environment where music plays a capital role (among the Lerolle, the Rouart), friend of Ludovic Halévy (the librettist of Carmen de Bizet), he goes behind the scenes of the Paris Opera. Degas painted a few orchestral scenes, portraits of musicians, but above all the dance classes attended by the little rats. The artist reveals the cruelty of a world that he captures in all its sociological complexity: the gentlemen who wait for the dancers (sometimes assimilated to prostitutes), the rivalries, the hierarchy; nothing is forgotten. Between 1895 and 1896, the artist experimented with the photographic medium by making portraits and nudes in artificial light. The last part of Degas' life was darkened by a blindness that gradually deprived him of his art: the artist would have stopped painting in 1912. He devoted himself to pastel and monotype (a printing technique without engraving appreciated by the Impressionists ), producing works of great modernity. After his death in 1917, the same year as Rodin, his studio's sales and his sublime collection of masters (Ingres, Delacroix, etc.) marked the year 1918. His key works The Bellelli Family, 1858–1867 While in Italy where he completed his training as an artist, Degas visited his Neapolitan family, of whom he painted here a portrait worthy of the Flemish masters. The work is characterized by its large structure and severity, a profusion of details, and a sober palette. Degas manages to grasp the psychology of his models. It is a major work of the painter's youth. Racehorses in front of the stands, circa 1866–68 The racetrack was a bourgeois hobby in that time. Fascinated by this fashionable environment, the painter is also attracted by the study of horse movement. Thoroughbreds are nervous before the start of the race. Dominated by the diagonal line, the composition is dynamic. Degas attaches great importance to the role of light, to contrasts and shadows, which seem to duplicate the canvas and give access to another reality. The Dance Class, between 1873 and 1876 Introduced behind the scenes of the Opera on rue Le Peletier, Degas takes an interest in the world of dancers. This is a dance class, where the ballerinas are exercising under the watchful eye of the ballet teacher, the only male presence. The tension and the promiscuity are palpable. Some perform the movements, while others seem tired, even exhausted. By approaching the composition diagonally, the painter spares the intrusion of the outside into this world closed by means of the mirror. Little 14-year-old dancer, between 1865 and 1881 At the 1881 Impressionist exhibition, Degas presented a wax sculpture of a young dancer in a glass cage. The work caused a scandal. By her face with ape-like features, for some she embodied a figure of perversion (the Opera was often perceived as one of the antechambers of bourgeois prostitution). A manifesto of naturalism in sculpture, this work is also a real assemblage since Degas has dressed his dancer in a tutu and ballerina shoes, showing his obsession with grasping the reality of his time. Beaux-Arts - Claire Maingon. More than 600 Degas paintings, in video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XNSLN77-Rs

Edgar Degas, major works and video 600 paintings

Famous for his dancers, Edgar Degas (1834–1917) is often considered one of the masters of Impressionism, a classification he denied; the...