D is for Degas
Today is day four of the Blogging A to Z Challenge
The Dance Class, 1874
Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917)
attitude filled air
on the trail of perfection
all jitters stifled
figures held in light in time
smell of oil paint permeates
I thought I would take this opportunity to learn a little more about art/artists/painters/paintings and master works than I do during this A to Z Challenge.
Edgar Degas was born , Hilaire-Germain-Edgar de Gas on July 19, 1834, in Paris, France. He showed talent as a child, so at 18 years old he was copying works of the masters on display in the Louvre. That’s what budding artists did then to hone their craft. His father was a French banker and a knowledgeable art lover. His mother was American from New Orleans, who knew! They were from the middle class but decided to change their stars. They had nobler “pretensions”, I love the way they put that. So, they jazzed up the surname made it de Gas (the ‘de’ meaning land owning aristocrat), which they weren’t. Edgar later changed it back to Degas.
He was one of the founders of the Impressionists’ movement. He arranged exhibitions and participated in them. Yet he was resistant to such labeling, just like Cezanne. He considered himself a realist- representing subjects truthfully, no enhancing of the image. His favorite image to paint were dancers, he produced 1500 such paintings. In his thirties his eyesight started to fail, so he turned to sculpting. Wow! Way to make lemonade when life hands you lemons, right. I did not know that Degas was a sculpture. His work influenced several major modern artists.
Follow this link for a peek at his work as a sculpture