Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)

Degas was a famous painter who combined figurative work with impressionistic sensibilities, specifically through capturing female dancers. His father, a knowledgeable art enthusiast, nurtured his son’s gift for drawing and painting when he was a young boy, and he was accepted into the Paris-based École des Beaux-Arts in 1855. Degas dropped out of school to spend the next three years traveling and painting in Italy.

The artist left a lasting legacy through his capture of movement, interesting angles, point of view, asymmetry, and cropping that disrupt a compositional balance with his views of modern urban life. He experiments with pastels, watercolors, gouache, hatching techniques, and, later, sculpture became a lasting hallmark of his long and prolific career.