Edgar Degas  (French, 1834-1917) 

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Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917) is renowned as a major Impressionist artist, celebrated for his depictions of Parisian urban life and his investigations of color, light, and composition in several mediums, such as painting, sculpture, and pastels. Degas was born Hiliare-Germain-Edgar Degas in Paris, and first studied law before pursuing art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1855. In the 1870s he joined the circle of Impressionist artists known for their animated, expressionistic brushstrokes and explorations of the temporal effects of light and color in painting. In addition to painting scenes of leisure activity and high society, Degas often depicted the poor and marginal in Parisian contemporary life, including images of prostitutes, laborers, laundresses, and young dancers. He frequently experimented with depicting movement, light, and the pictorial composition in new ways, often portraying his subjects at odd angles or abruptly cropping his scenes.

Beginning in the mid-1880s, his eyesight began to fail and he increasingly used pastel to create blurred edges and softer forms, used in several of his famous series of ballet dancers and female bathers. In the last decade of his life, Degas’ eyesight suffered to the point that he could no longer produce any work after 1912. Degas’ work gained increased critical praise towards the end of his lifetime, and he is now often considered one of the boldest and most innovative of his Impressionist contemporaries. Degas died in Paris in 1917, at 83 years old. His works are in the collections of prominent institutions around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery and the British Museum in London, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel.

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Edgar Degas, Danseuse les bras levés

 

Edgar Degas
Danseuse les bras levés
1882-1885

Galerie Dreyfus
Edgar Degas, Dancer (Preparation en dedans)

 

Edgar Degas
Dancer (Preparation en dedans)
Trinity House
Edgar Degas, Après le bain - femme s'essuyant

 

Edgar Degas
Après le bain - femme s'essuyant
1890-1895

Galerie von Vertes
Edgar Degas, La Conversation

 

Edgar Degas
La Conversation
1895

Acquavella Galleries
Edgar Degas, Étude de Nu

 

Edgar Degas
Étude de Nu
circa 1888-1892

Le Claire Kunst
Edgar Degas, Danseuse ajustant son épaulette

 

Edgar Degas
Danseuse ajustant son épaulette
1896-1899

Galerie Brame & Lorenceau
Edgar Degas, La Masseuse

 

Edgar Degas
La Masseuse
1998

Artco France
Edgar Degas, Danseuse mettant son bas

 

Edgar Degas
Danseuse mettant son bas
1998

Artco France
Edgar Degas, Conversation in the Green Room

 

Edgar Degas
Conversation in the Green Room
1880-1939

Contessa Gallery
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After Edgar Degas, Cheval se cabrant

 

After Edgar Degas
Cheval se cabrant
bronze

 

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Edgar Degas, Horse Studies

 

Edgar Degas
Horse Studies, 1890
pencil on paper

 

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Edgar Degas, Femme nu au levé du lit

 

Edgar Degas
Femme nu au levé du lit
etching and aquatint

 

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1834   Born Hilaire Germain Edgar de Gas in Paris, France on July 19th
1855   Studied at the École des Beaux Arts, Paris, France
1856   Lived in Rome for 3 years
1861   Completed a few history paintings, including the Daughter of Jephthah
1862 - 1870   Painted portraits of his family and friends
1870   Served in the artillery during the Franco-Prussian War
1874   Stopped exhibiting at the Salon
1917   Died in Paris, France on September 27th
2010 - 2012   Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist, Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL, USA; Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, CA; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME (solo exhibition)
2009   Edgar Degas Exhibitions in 2009:
Degas: master of French art, The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia (solo exhibition)
Edgar Degas. Intimity and Pose, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany (solo exhibition)
2007 - 2008   Degas in Bronze: The Complete Sculptures, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL, USA (solo exhibition)
2006 - 2007   Edgar Degas: The Last Landscapes, The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH, USA (solo exhibition)
2006   Degas at the Getty, The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
2005   Degas at Harvard, The Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, MA, USA (solo exhibition)
2004   Edgar Degas Exhibitions in 2004:
Degas Sculptures, Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA, USA; The Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID (solo exhibition)
Degas and the Italians in Paris, Edinburgh's Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland (solo exhibition)
Art in the Making: Degas, The National Gallery, London, UK (solo exhibition)
All 73 sculptures by Edgar Degas, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ (solo exhibition)
2003   Degas and the Dance, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA (solo exhibition)
2000   Degas Pastel Society: Eighth Biennial National Exhibition, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, MS, USA (solo exhibition)
1996 - 1997   Degas: Beyond Impressionism, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; The National Gallery, London, UK (solo exhibition)
1979   Degas and the Dance, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA, USA (solo exhibition)
1974 - 1975   Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA
1925   Edgar Degas Sculpture, Ferargil Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo exhibition)
1922   Exhibition of Bronzes by Degas, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, France (solo exhibition)
1905   Grafton Galleries, London, UK
1892   Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, France (solo exhibition)
1886   Edgar Degas Exhibitions in 1886:
Works in Oil and Pastel by the Impressionists of Paris, The American Art Galleries; The National Academy of Design, New York, NY, USA
8me Exposition de Peinture, 1 rue Laffitte, Paris, France
1881   6me Exposition de Peinture, 35 boulevard des Capucines, Paris, France
1880   5me Exposition de Peinture, 10 rue des Pyramides, Paris, France
1879   4me Exposition de Peinture, 28 avenue de l'Opéra, Paris, France
1877   3me Exposition de Peinture, 6 rue Le Peletier, Paris, France
1876   Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, France
1874   Société Anonyme des Artistes, Paris, France
1870   The Salon, Paris, France
1869   The Salon, Paris, France
1868   The Salon, Paris, France
1867   The Salon, Paris, France
1866   The Salon, Paris, France
1865   The Salon, Paris, France
  The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
  National Gallery, London, UK
  Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
  Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
  Frick Collection, New York, NY
  Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, France
  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
  Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
  J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
  Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France
  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1995    Callen, Anthea. The Spectacular Body: Science, Method and Meaning in the Work of Degas. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995
1992    Kendall, Richard and Griselda Pollock, eds. Dealing with Degas. London: Pandora, 1992
1988    Thomson, Richard. Degas: The Nudes. London: Thames & Hudson, 1988
1987    Lipton, Eunice. Looking into Degas: Uneasy Images of Women and Modern Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987
1984    McMullen, Roy. Degas: His Life, Times, and Work. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984