Edgar Degas, renowned for his masterful portrayals of movement, is celebrated for his role in the Impressionist movement. If you’re looking for original Edgar Degas prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and explore our network’s most in-demand works.

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Born in Paris in 1834, Edgar Degas was raised in an affluent family with a strong appreciation for the arts. His early life was steeped in culture and learning, which was further enriched by his education at the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand. Degas went on to study law briefly, but the pull of art proved stronger, leading him to enrol at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His education was complemented by extensive travels in Italy, where he honed his skills by studying the works of Renaissance masters, an experience that shaped his approach to composition and form.

Degas's development is characterised by his ceaseless experimentation with technique and a fascination with the human figure in motion. His early work included history paintings, but he soon shifted his focus to contemporary subjects. He became known for his intimate, behind-the-scenes portrayals of Parisian life, capturing the subtleties of ballet rehearsals, horse races, and the private moments of women in their home.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Degas was not interested in plein air painting; instead, he preferred the controlled environment of the studio where he could meticulously construct his compositions. His use of unusual viewpoints and cropping, influenced by photography and Japanese prints, helped forge a unique visual language that set his work apart.

Degas's involvement with the Impressionists was marked by his participation in their independent exhibitions. Though he shared their interest in modern life and the effects of light, his work often displayed a more classical and realist bent. This dichotomy in his art reflects Degas's complex relationship with the movement – he was an Impressionist in his themes and independence, but traditionalist in his methods and aesthetic discipline.

Throughout his career, Degas's art was well-received, with several significant exhibitions cementing his reputation. His work was widely collected, and he was an influential figure among younger artists. As his eyesight deteriorated in later years, Degas turned increasingly to sculpture and pastel, which allowed him to continue expressing his fascination with movement and form.

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