Edgar Degas was a French artist who showcased his talents not only in the field of painting but also in sculpture, drawing, and printmaking. He has been known as a founder of Impressionism. But Degas himself chose not to be addressed as Impressionist. He rather wanted to be known as a Realist.
Edgar Degas was a well known draughtsman. Dance as a subject can be seen in most of his works. Other remarkable subjects of Degas’ art are female with nudity and humans with isolation. He justified these themes with the best talent in art.
Birth, Childhood and Education
Edgar Degas was born in the year 1834 on July 19. He died in the year 1917 on September 27. He was born in Paris to a family where his father was a banker. His family was pretty wealthy. His mother died when he was just thirteen. After the death of his mother, his grandfather and father influenced and affected his life.
It was at the age of eleven that he began his schooling. He enrolled in Lycée Louis-le-Grand. He graduated in the year 1853 with literature as his subject. He was registered as a copyist in Louvre. His father wanted him to study law. He was also a faculty of law at University of Paris but it was clear that his interests never lied there.
He went through quite a rigorous academic training. He also studied art closely. His ambition was to be a famous history painter. In the later part of his career he seemed to portray modern art but as a classic painter. At an early age his room appeared nothing less than an artist’s place. Paris studio was one place that gave him an opportunity to give wings to his career. He studied many historical paintings.
His painting Scene of war in the Middle Ages was accepted by the Jury in Salon in the year 1865 but it did not bring him enough fame. He admired Daumier, Delacroix, and Ingres which he reflected in his painting. He developed his passion for photography and was recognized as an Impressionist.
Some of his well known works are Young Spartans, Portrait of Bellelli, Kneeling Woman, The Singer with the Glove, Spanish Dance, Woman in the Bath, Ballet Rehearsal, and Horses in Meadow.
When his father died he was forced to sell his house and a good collection of his art. He had to do this to preserve his family name as his brother was discovered to be burdened with business debts. This improved his financial condition after which he continued his love for painting by buying the works of the masters he always admired.