7th Grade research Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas was a painter and sculptor. He was born on July the 19th, 1834. He was born in Paris, France and that is the same place where he died. At first he received a classical education, but later his father noticed his great skill for drawing and painting. By the age of 18, he had the permission to copy at the Louvre in Paris. Copying was for aspiring artists to develop their techniques to replicate the work of the masters.  He met a painter by the name of Edouard Manet, and soon they had a friendly rivalry. Edgar soon joined a group of artists later known as the impressionists. Over the course of the next 12 years, the group made 8 exhibitions and Degas exhibited all of them. Edgar’s most popular paintings at the time were: “The Dancing Class”, “The Dance Class”, “Woman Ironing”, and “Dancers Practicing at the Bar”. He also sculpted “The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer”. Some thought it was brilliant, while others thought it was cruel. Degas’s paintings are not overly political, however they portray France’s changing social and economic environment. Degas lived well into the 20th century, and although he painted less during these years, he promoted his work tirelessly and became an avid art collector. He never actually married, which is surprising to most since he counted several women. Soon, Edgar died on September the 27th, 1917 at the age of 83. He was recognized as one of the greatest impressionist painters. The sheer beauty of his early works and the distinct modern self-conscious elusiveness of his later portraits ensure Degas a lasting legacy. One thing that remains very clear about Degas, is that his works were among the most painstakingly polished and refined in history. Edgar was a perfectionist. He even once remarked, “If painting were not difficult, it would not be so fun.”

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