Edgar Degas (1834-1917) - perhaps the most classic of the impressionists. Teacher had a great influence on Degas, which one way or another he carried through his entire career. After graduating from school, Degas went to Italy to study with the old masters: Bellini, Botticelli and others, copying their canvases.
In 1862, in the halls of the Louvre, Degas met Eduard Manet, who changed his whole life. Through him, he meets future impressionists - Monet and Renoir. Rapprochement with the Impressionists marked the beginning of a new stage in the artist's work. However, still the previous training still made itself felt. If the impressionists considered it their most important principle to paint from nature, then this does not apply to Degas. He liked to repeat that one should "observe without drawing, and draw without observing." Degas did not approve of the impressionist desire to work in the open air. In general, he did not have much in common with them. With them he was brought together by a desire to move away from academic patterns, an appeal to the themes of modern life, a true image of the moments of living life. The names of his paintings speak for themselves: "Dance Lesson", "Wounded Jockey", "Ironman", "Jockeys in the stands", "At the modiste" and others.
Degas loved portraying people, especially womenbut not posing in a frozen pose, but as if taken by surprise behind their classes, in their characteristic postures, with gestures inherent in them. The artist became interested in the theme of ballet in the 1870s. Portraying the dancers, the artist seeks to capture them not on the stage in all its splendor, no, he prefers to show us working backstage everyday life. Such are the paintings “Dancers in Rehearsal” (1874?), “Dancer at the Photographer” (1875), “Waiting” (1880), “Two Dancers” (1898), etc.
Once, in response to a question why he so often addresses the theme of ballet, he reluctantly responded: “I am called a painter of dancers; they don’t understand that the dancers served me only as an excuse to write beautiful fabrics and convey movements. ”
Since the 1870s, he became interested in pastels, combining the qualities of painting and graphics at the same time. This technique suited the artistic tastes of Degas who worshiped the line. "I'm a colorist through the line"He used to say. Impressionists, however, prayed to another god - color.