Beside Van Gogh I also adore Edgar Degas. Degas is one of the founders of impressionism. Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas was born in Paris in 1834. His father was a wealthy banker who loved art.
Unlike other Impressionists (Monet, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh etc) who painted scenes in open air, Degas worked indoor. He was a regular visitor at the Opéra. After a while he became an abonnée (subscriber). With that Degas had almost an all access in the Opéra Garnier.
Degas painted the ballerinas during rehearsals, in the dressing room, in the foyer, backstage, onstage, in his own studio in Montmartre. He meticulously captured the movements, costume details, light and face expression. I love his works. His angle is sometimes extra ordinary at that time. This was caused by photography which was a novelty then.
Here are my pick of Degas ballerinas. Let’s begin from the rehearsal paintings.
Parisian art world called him The painter of dancing girls. Degas explained his fascination for ballet and ballerina as
It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty
Resting ballerinas in between rehearsals
Although he is famous for his ballerina paintings, Degas works also include middle class scenes in the bar, laundry women in Montmartre and portraits. One thing is sure, his paintings are mostly indoor scenes.
Starting from 1870es, Degas’ sight turned from bad to worst. This situation depressed him. As artistic and creative as he was, he focused on sculpting. He did this as excellent as painting. He quit working from 1909 before he became totally blind in 1911. Edgar Degas passed away in 1917.
If you are interested in knowing more about Degas, I will write another piece. Just see this one as an introduction to this talented all round artist.
All Degas paintings are taken from WikiArt, free images.