Edgar Degas

Edgar DegasEdgar Degas is a well known French artist who was regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism. Aside form his paintings, Degas was also known for his sculptures, prints as well as drawings. He was especially identified with depicting dancers as his subjects which cover over half of his works. He has also done quite a number of female nudes as well as a number of works depicting happenings on the racecourse.

Edgar Degas was born on July 19, 1834 in Paris France. He was the eldest of the five children born to Celestine Musson De Gas and a wealthy banker father, Augustin De Gas. Degas found his love for art early in life. At the age of eighteen, he had already taken painting seriously by turning a room in his home as an artist’s studio.

From there, he started learning from the masters by making copies of masterpieces at the Louvre. As his father wanted him to take Law in college, he enrolled at the Faculty of Law in the University of Paris in 1853. But because his love for the law was non-existent, his lack of interest in the subject made him do poorly on his subjects.

Degas eventually concentrated more on drawing and painting and by 1855, received admission into the famous Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he flourished and began to excel in the arts. In 1856, he went to Italy where he would remain for three years to further study and learn from the early artists of the Renaissance by drawing and making copies of well known masterpieces. Degas fervently studied the arts and learned the various techniques of high, academic as well as classical art. From then on he began his career as an artist.

During his artistic career, public reception for Degas’ works ranged from admiration and praise and sometimes contempt. His conventional works was regarded as very promising by some critics who were then more rigid in defining art in the classical style. But when Degas began to join forces with the Impressionists creating artworks that rejected the rigid rules and elitism of the classical style, the general public not open to experimentalism of the Impressionist began to put the artist’s works in low regard.

But although some of Degas’ works were controversial during their time, some critics admired some of them for their draftsmanship. Eventually more and more of the art loving public began to see the beauty of the Impressionist paintings and started to see some of Degas’ works in a more positive light.

By the time he reached the end of his career as an artist, Degas was, by then, regarded as an important artist of his time. His contributions to the Impressionist movement were numerous as he was later on regarded as one of its early founders. Edgar Degas died at the age of 83 on September 27, 1917.

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