Edgar Degas “Painter of the Dancers” By Julia Baker
Born in Paris, France on July 19th, 1834.
Died in Paris, France on September 27, 1917.
He painted for 60 years, out of the 83 that he lived.
Was born to wealthy family, his father was a banker and his mother died when he was 13.
He never married. He said: "I would live in constant fear that, whenever I completed a new painting, I would hear my wife say ' That's so pretty what you've done there! ' ”.
Key Personal Events
Degas attended school at the Lyc ée Louis-le-Grand, there he got a classical education.
His childhood idol was the painter Jean Auguste Ingres, who pointed him in the direction of a classical draftsmanship and caused him to stress balance and the clarity of outline.
He started classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. After leaving in 1854, he went to Italy. There he studied Italian art, mainly Renaissance works.
Key Personal Events
In 1859 he returned to Paris and painted portraits. In these portraits he combined classical and romantic styles.
In Paris he met Édouard Manet and in the late 1860’s changed his art to a contemporary theme. This is when he realized that he loved painting and sculpting dancers.
Key Historical Events
Throughout 1970 and 1971 Degas served in the French National Guard’s artillery decision, in the Franco-Prussian War.
He painted during the Renaissance period.
English and Japanese art prints were shown at he Universal Exhibition of 1867, which influenced the way Degas painted. When Japan was opened up to international commerce in 1853, lots of Japanese objects went to the west. Especially their wood engravings influenced French artists.
Mood and Tone
The mood effects the emotion a painting shows. Degas expresses lots of color and emotion through the dancers. In this painting, The Dance Class (1871), Degas uses different colors and gives lots of detail to the faces of the dancers to show emotion.
Degas used oil paints and pastels. This gave his art specific detail and a certain style. In the painting Ballet Rehearsal (1875), The pastels give a certain effect to the painting that makes it more interesting and pretty.
Space and Distance
The artist Jean Auguste Ingres made Degas realize that balance is important. Throughout all of his paintings almost everything balances through either color or space and distance. In this painting Blue Dancers (1890), Degas makes the colors and the space balance out, making it a beautiful painting.
Degas was effected by many people, and finally found that he loved to draw dancers. His person life had a big influence on his painting career. His paintings look calm, and relaxed, as they may look in real life. In the painting Dance Class at the Op éra (1872), Degas uses his style of color and balance, which comes together to make a painting that you can immediately recognize as a Degas painting.