Edgar Degas French artist of the XIX-XX centuries, a prominent representative of impressionism. In various subjects, Edgar Degas was always looking for movement and tried to capture it. Being a perfectionist, in his work he strove for the ultimate harmony of shapes and colors. The paintings of the painter are distinguished by a shift in composition, images cut off by the edge of the canvas, unexpected objects that obscure the main characters, as if by chance seized moments.
Biography of Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas was born on July 19, 1834, was the firstborn in the family of a successful banker Augusto de Gas. The thirteen-year-old boy survived the death of his mother, which was a big blow for him.
Edgar Degas showed a penchant for painting from a young age. His father wanted to see him as a lawyer who would continue the family business. After graduating from the Lyceum in 1852, the young man entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Paris, but very soon realized that jurisprudence was not for him. Fortunately, Augusto de Gas did not put pressure on his son and gave him the opportunity to make his own choice. At the same time, the pragmatic father advised the young man to focus on the portrait genre, he believed that this would bring money and fame to the painter.
In 1855, Edgar began his studies at the School of Fine Arts.
His mentor was Louis Lamothe, a student of the legendary Ingres (Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres). In Degas’s heart, love for Ingres’s clear form, his melodious lines, remained for life. In 1856, the young artist interrupted his studies and left for Spain for two years. Here the young man visited key cultural centers, got acquainted with the masterpieces of the geniuses of the Renaissance. Returning to the capital of France, inspired Degas opened his workshop, where he began to paint pictures on historical, antique subjects.
In the early works of Edgar Degas, there is still almost no complex technique, refined artistic techniques what made him subsequently recognizable throughout the world. However, even then, unpredictability of movements, elements escaping the canvas, photographic randomness of the plot are born in the works.
In 1862, Degas met Edouard Manet (Édouard Manet) this event is one of the main events in his life.
Manet introduced Edgar to other young artists who later became known to the world as Impressionists. Degas often visits the Guerbois cafe, where ambitious colleagues discuss their vision of reality and share ideas for new plots. Thanks to his subtle manners, education, and peculiar charm, the painter earned a high reputation in this circle.
Edgar Degas saw and felt the world around him as a dynamic element, the life of a metropolis that never subsides. And the artist’s photographic memory helped him notice all the features of Paris. In his paintings, he recreates the rhythm of city life, depicts in detail the furnishings of the premises, images of citizens, and events.
The favorite subject of the Impressionist was ballet. In his works, the artist masterfully conveys this world of grace and beauty, while his works are devoid of deliberate sentimentality. Unlike other artists, Edgar Degas presents the work of ballerinas without embellishment, he penetrates backstage, showing how they train, change clothes, and relax. Before him, painters depicted dancers officially, pretentiously, there was no question of lightness in the paintings.
In addition to ballet, Degas was passionate about horses.
He was fascinated by these graceful animals, their natural plasticity. The artist really liked the traditional Roman horse races. This topic is devoted to a whole series of his paintings.
As for his personal life, Edgar Degas was always lonely. For him, this was the only comfortable state of mind, the master did not like increased attention to his own person. The last decade of the genius’s life was very sad. Degas lost his sight, he was captured by woeful pessimism. Wandering aimlessly through the streets of Paris, the artist experienced indescribable pain from the inability to contemplate life and capture it on canvas. Edgar Degas died on September 27, 1917.