Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

Degas was an impressionist, but he refered to himself as a "realist" or an "independent" artist. In his earlier years, he took trips to Italy and became srtongly influenced by the art there. He was also influenced by works at the Louvre. As an impressionist, Degas took a modern approach to his artwork. When he painted he preferred to work from his sketches and memory as he focused on the contouring, use of light and color of his paintings. 

Degas was very well known for his paintings of ballerinas and women in general. When painting his ballerinas he would use more natural colors such as different shades of browns, tans, whites,and pinks but he would also use more vivid colors such as green or purple to show where the light hits or doesn't hit(as shown in the painting).
In Degas's portrait of his sister Marguerite, he uses different shades of black and gray to express her features and to capture the lighting and contour of her stance. Degas was known for capturing strange postures, artificial light and bold details.
As well as painting portraits of family, Degas would paint pictures of any women. Again, he used little variation in color and he would paint or draw the women in odd stances. As well as painting women and dancers, Degas was less-known for painting pictures of horses, cafe scenes, movement in the city, and paintings en plein air(outdoors).
Before he really focused on just painting, Degas also worked in photogrpahy and sculpting. As shown in the picture, Degas mostly sculpted women. Most of the time they would be nude or be wearing little clothes but he really liked to focus on the details.
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