1834 - 1917
Edgar Degas was a French painter who flirted with both Realism and Impressionism, though he supposedly rejected association with the latter term. He is extremely difficult to place in a movement, especially because of his changing brushstroke technique. His work is observational and often voyeuristic, but always well thought out.
Cotton Exchange 1873
Degas’ primary painting subjects were people and occupation and he always painted indoors, choosing to the reject the en plain air style of the Impressionists. The Dance Class is one of my favourite Degas pieces. I adore the way he has managed to paint the texture of tulle and silk of the ballet dresses, and the specks of colour across the canvas from accessories, such as the ribbons and hair pieces.
Degas went on to become one of the most prominent artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as influencing Mary Cassatt, Walter Sickert and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
The Dance Class 1875