Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Edgar Degas - A short Biography

L'Etoile by Edgar Degas

Hilaire German Edgar Degas was born in 1834 in Paris. He was the son of a wealthy banker. His father hoped he would study law but he enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts in 1855 where he was trained in the classical style. His mother had died when he was 13, and he had a brother Rene with who he was close. Unlike the impressionists he did not focus on colour and light, but emphasised composition, form and line. He is still often included in the impressionists movement as he exhibiting with them but he was not generally like them in style. He exhibited with the respected Salon until 1874 before beginning to exhibit with the impressionists until 1886. From the mid 1870's he began to suffer from deterioration in his eyesight, and by the time of his death in 1917 he was almost blind. This was also the reason why he began to use pastels more and more and eventually abandoned oils. His art was an attempt to combine the disciplined approach of classical art with the direct approach of the impressionists. His favourite subjects were portraiture, ballet, theater and racetrack scenes.

For a more modern impressionist have a look at the work of William Wendt who was based in california at the early half of the 20th century.

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