Edgar Degas

Before the Start

Born in Paris, France in the year 1834 Edgar Degas was the son of a moderately wealthy family. His schooling began at the age of 11 and continued until he graduated from the Lycée at the age of 18. His love of painting had always been strong, but Edgar's father wanted him to attend law school. He enrolled in the University of Paris to study the Faculty of Law. But his lack of interest led to little effort in his studies. Eventually he moved on from law and in 1855 was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

During the Franco-Prussian War Degas enlisted and served in the National Guard. After war he relocated temporarily to New Orleans, Louisiana where several of his relatives lived. His short stay produced many paintings including the only one ever purchased by a museum during his lifetime. His painting "A Cotton Office in New Orleans", was purchased by the Pau Museum.

Edgar dabbled in many mediums. He created paintings, sculptures, masterful drawings and even printmaking. Regarded as one of the founders of impressionism Degas rejected the term feeling he was more a realist than anything else. A master in depicting the art of movement many of Edgar's pieces deal with dance. He is also quite famous for his portraits and female nudes. Later, in life during the late 1880's Degas developed a passion for photography. His pictures often were used as a reference for some of his later paintings and drawings.

Edgar's personal belief that a painter could have no personal life and other controversies surrounding him led to an isolated existence. It is believed he ceased all working in 1910. Never marrying he spent his last years alone and nearly blind. He passed in September of 1917.

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You can see all of Edgar Degas's Art Prints here