Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The Everso-slightly Erotic Prints of Edgar Degas
Degas, enrolled in the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and graduated in 1853, with a baccalauréat in literature. He went to work in the Louvre Museum, but later enrolled at the Faculty of Law of the University of Paris, in November 1853. He quit his law studies two years later, when he met Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, and then went to study art at the École des Beaux-Arts.
In July 1856, he traveled to Italy, where he the works of several Italian Renaissance masters. He returned to France in 1859, and started his studio, painting mostly historical subjects. He exhibited at the Salon for the first time in 1865, and exhibited annually in the Salon during the next five years, shifting more and more toward contemporary subject matter. The change in his art was due to an influence by Édouard Manet, whom Degas had met in 1864. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Degas enlisted in the National Guard, but eventually discovered that his eyesight was problematic, and suffered eye problems for the rest of his life.
Separately, Degas also developed a passion for photography, and he photographed his friends, dancers and nudes, which were used in some of his works.
Degas's works are a part of numerous museum collections, and have been exhibited worldwide. His prints have garnered widespread attention, and serve as classic examples of an artist who loved the female figure, and who chose to present them in their most fragile, intimate moments, with grace and sensuality.