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Interesting Facts About Edgar Degas
Dawit Abeza
Interesting Facts About Edgar Degas

Interesting Facts About Edgar Degas

Famous for his human figure style paintings. Edgar Degas was recognized as one of the pioneers of the Impressionist movement. 

Who is Edgar Degas?

He was prominent for making paintings of ladies in abnormal postures and positions, from dancing girls to singing girls, and nude women.

Here are 19 fascinating facts about Edgar Degas: 

  1. Degas took inspiration from various art styles.
  2. Degas almost joined the National Guard in the Franco-Prussian War.
  3. His most famous work was significantly loathed by pundits.
  4. Degas only had one painting bought by a museum during his lifetime.
  5. Numerous pundits thought of Degas as a sexist.
  6. Degas was famous for capturing moments.
  7. Degas dismissed the "Impressionist" title that he was given and called himself a "pragmatist".
  8. He at first tried to be a history painter, however, he changed course in his mid-thirties.
  9. Degas was a bourgeoisie individual.
  10. He had money-related issues later in life.
  11. Popular for his portrayals of ballets, Degas created roughly 1,500 works of dancers.
  12. Degas brothel monotypes intrigued Pablo Picasso.
  13. He was intrigued by physiognomy.
  14. He had a long kinship with American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.
  15. In the mid-1880s and 1890s, Degas started to focus on photography.
  16. He made more than 150 models from wax and plasticine.
  17. Degas turned out to be progressively hermitic.
  18. Degar was a prominent art collector he obtained a great many paintings, drawings, and prints.
  19. Degas' Danseuse au Repos (c.1879) sold for £17.6 million ($27.9 million) in 1999, making it his most costly work to date.

1. Degas took inspiration from various art styles.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, probably had the greatest impact on Degas, he was known for his striking clear images and his ability to careful laying out of his works. Degas drew motivation from Ingres' paintings.

Eugene Delacroix was another painter that Degas admired, his compositions were perfectly centered and colorful.

In 1853, with the opening of exchange among Japan and the west, a deluge of new art into France touched off a rage for everything Japanese.

Degas was vigorously impacted by Ukiyo-e Japanese prints, with strong, straight structures and a levelness remarkable to that particular art style. These woodblock prints from Japan, for the most part, delineated the delights of city life and sentimental scenes. 

He abstracted from the Japanese esthetic compositions, he took components that he liked.

2. Degas almost joined the National Guard in the Franco-Prussian War.

His visual perception was not 'perfect' so he couldn't join the National Guard. He found this out while trying to join the fight for the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), in the midst of his rifle shooting practice.

At 36 years old, Degas really started encountering visual issues, which exacerbated for the duration of his life. Degas built up a type of retinal sickness that would prompt trouble recognizing colors.

Since his retinopathy made it hard for him to see in brilliant light, Degas wanted to work inside and found the low light of dancers enjoyable.

By his forties, Degas had lost his focal vision, and by the age of 57, he could not properly see. He's falling vision without a doubt affected his work, prompting more extensive strokes, bolder colors, and experimentation in a wide assortment of media including pastels, photography, and printmaking.

Interesting Facts About Claude Monet

3. His most famous work was significantly loathed by pundits.

The painting, L'Absinthe (The Absinthe Drinker), 1876, portrayed a dismal bistro scene with miserable individuals. It was censured and closed away from viewers for a long time until it was introduced again in 1892 when it got more significant.

The Absinthe Drinker by Edgar Degas

The Absinthe Drinker by Edgar Degas

A man and a lady, albeit sitting next to each other, are secured quiet separation, their eyes vacant and dismal, with hanging highlights and general quality of devastation.

4. Degas only had one painting bought by a museum during his lifetime.

The painting, A Cotton Office in New Orleans, 1873, is one of Degas's most famous paintings that he attempted to sell to a museum during his lifetime.

The painting portrayed his uncle's bombing cotton business during a financial accident. On a more intensive look, one can see Degas' uncle, Musson, grasping the crude cotton, while his brother Achille leans against a window, and Rene peruses a paper.

Degas, whose mother hailed from New Orleans, he went to the city in 1872 to visit his brother René and various other family members. The painting, portraying his uncle Michel Musson's cotton financier business, was displayed at the Second Impressionist Exhibition in Paris in 1876.

This painting had popularity and It was at the end purchased by Musee des Beaux-Arts de Pau (Museum of Fine Arts) in Pau, France.

The majority of his paintings were simply sold through art exhibitions or vendors later on.

A Cotton Office in New Orleans by Edgar Degas

A Cotton Office in New Orleans by Edgar Degas

Degas portrays the minute when his uncle Michel Musson's cotton financier business failed in a monetary accident, as indicated by Michael McMahon of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

5. Numerous pundits thought of Degas as a sexist.

One of his works, in particular, The Bath and Woman Supporting her Back portrayed exposed ladies drying themselves with towels, brushing their hair, and then some. This was seen by numerous pundits as uncommon and by and large unflattering.

Degas created a broad arrangement of ladies washing, which were remarkable for their absence of self-awareness and open investigations of the human structure, special utilization of point of view, and practically sculptural strength. 

Degas alluded to his subjects as "young girls", ballerinas as "young little monkies" and he has conceded that he "once thought about a lady as a creature." 

The Tub by Edgar Degas

The Tub by Edgar Degas

Displayed at the eighth Impressionist presentation in 1886, this pastel is one of a progression of seven pictures created by Degas in the mid-1880s on the topic of ladies at their ablutions, a subject previously investigated by the artist in a progression of monotypes.

6. Degas was famous for capturing moments.

His capacity to catch dynamic movements permitted him to delineate his artistic talents to start painting ballet dancers from different angles and positions. He captured ballet dancers performing for crows and practicing on their craft.

He was even permitted access classes at Paris Opera House, as he was a companion of Jules Perrot, the famous ballet dancer. Through this kinship, Degas would proceed to create more than a few dozen paintings of artful dancers.

The Green Dancer by Edgar Degas

The Green Dancer by Edgar Degas

This painting utilizes Degas' strategy for trimming components of a scene. This particular drawing consolidates a gathering of ballet dancers during a presentation. 

7. Degas dismissed the "Impressionist" title that he was given and called himself a "pragmatist".

Despite the fact that he had a job in sorting out paintings at Impressionist Exhibitions.

He disliked the act of painting en 'Plein air' an impressionist style of painting. Degas said: "In the event that I were the administration I would have a unique unit of gendarmes to watch out for artists who paint scenes from nature. Goodness, I don't intend to slaughter anybody; only a little portion of fledgling shot sometimes as a notice."

While Degas dismissed the impressionism in his work, his capricious compositions and scenes of quotidian life where displayed inside the Impressionist convention. 

8. He at first tried to be a history painter, however, he changed course in his mid-thirties.

Degas created a few history paintings through the mid-1860s. Be that as it may, he turned his eyes to scenes of his current life. While he could never again paint historical subjects.

9. Degas was a bourgeoisie individual.

Degas was an over the top authority and part of a social class that would hold the political, economic interests of the ruling class.

10. He had money-related issues later in life. 

Born into a well off family, Degas out of nowhere ended up with budgetary difficulties in 1874 with the demise of his father and closure of his brother's noteworthy business.

To make a decent living, Degas sold his home. He started living with some of his subjects that he was painting and offer his paintings as payment. 

11. Popular for his portrayals of ballets, Degas created roughly 1,500 works of dancers.

Degas had an enthusiasm for the open exhibitions of artful dancers. Degas's interest with dancers behind the stage is clear in L'étoile (1879), where a partially clouded figure in a dark tuxedo sneaks behind the youthful ballet dancer in front of an audience. 

L’Étoile (The Star) by Edgar Degas

L’Étoile (The Star) by Edgar Degas

We see a solitary ballet dancer on the stage, the stage lighting sparkling splendidly onto her and her exhibition. She is en pointe, adjusting effortlessly on one leg and keeping up a glorious posture. There are blooms on her white dress; her lace streams out from her all-inclusive neck, and she wears a crown on her head.

12. Degas brothel monotypes intrigued Pablo Picasso.

Picasso found the pieces interesting, portraying them as "by a long shot the best thing he could possibly do." He gathered 12 of degas monotypes and made his own arrangement of voyeuristic prints in his later years.

13. He was intrigued by physiognomy.

Physiognomy: the act of judging an individual from their physical appearance. 

In Degas Criminal Physiognomies, he portrays two youthful group individuals sentenced for killing a food merchant's kid due to their look.

Degas' enthusiasm for physiognomy went past criminal conduct; a few history specialists contend that the misrepresented highlights of his Jewish broker subjects in Portraits at the Stock Exchange.

Even his subjects get the physiognomic treatment—he alludes to his lower-class subjects as "little monkey young ladies", "in the condition of creatures cleaning themselves."

14. In the mid-1880s and 1890s, Degas started to focus on photography. 

Degas's photos reveal comparable esthetic distractions to his work in other media. Often utilizing just a solitary light source, the figures in Degas' photos seem to rise up out of murkiness.

Degas discovered photography particularly helpful for his enthusiasm and would proceed to draw and paint from photos all through his vocation.

15. He had a long kinship with American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.

Degas and Cassatt met in 1877 when Cassatt was working in Paris. Degas acquainted her with pastels and etching, and was instrumental in the advancement of Cassatt's style; she, thus, assumed a key job in acquainting Degas with American crowds.

What followed was an exceptional artistic kinship that kept going almost for 40 years. 

Portrait of Mary Cassatt by Edgar Degas

Portrait of Mary Cassatt by Edgar Degas

This portrait of American impressionist Mary Cassatt, giving her holding photos, commends the companionship that Degas imparted to her.

16. He made more than 150 models from wax and plasticine.

Upon his passing in 1917, more than 150 figures were found in his studio. Most were made of temporary materials and in different conditions of deterioration.

His beneficiaries approved of throwing his works in bronze with the goal that they could be sold. Quick to sell what they could, Degas beneficiaries contracted with the Hébrard foundry in Paris to cast 74 of the figures in bronze.

52 of these unique models are presently housed in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

17. Degas turned out to be progressively hermitic.

The famously cynical, obstinate, and misanthropic Degas accepted that "the artist should live alone, and his private life must stay obscure."

"Every one of his companions needed to leave him; I was one of the last to go, yet even I was unable to remain until the end." - Renoir

He stayed a lone ranger for the duration of his life and was not known to have any sentimental entrapments; Manet noticed that Degas was "not fit for adorning a lady."

Degas died in 1917, he had no children.

18. Degar was a prominent art collector he obtained a great many paintings, drawings, and prints.

Degas' immense private collection was found after his demise in 1917 and included works by the nineteenth-century masters Ingres, Delacroix, and Daumier. And Including art by Manet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Cassatt, Pissarro, and Van Gogh. The assortment was scattered and sold at sell-off in 1918 during the siege of Paris.

19. Degas' Danseuse au Repos (c.1879) sold for £17.6 million ($27.9 million) in 1999, making it his most costly work to date.

The piece was sold by Sotheby's London in its unique casing. Probably the finest case of his pastels of ballet dancers. 

20 Famous Edgar Degas Paintings

 

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