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date: 25 February 2020

Degas, Edgar (1834–1917) French painter, graphic artist, and sculptor, 

Source:
A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art
Author(s):

Ian Chilvers,

John Glaves-Smith

one of the outstanding figures of *Impressionism. He exhibited at seven out of the eight Impressionist exhibitions, but he stood somewhat aloof from the other members of the group and his work was Impressionist only in certain limited aspects. Like the other Impressionists, Degas aimed to give the suggestion of spontaneous and unplanned scenes and a feeling of movement, and like them, he was influenced by photography (he often cut off figures in the manner of a snapshot) and by Japanese colour prints (he imitated their use of unfamiliar viewpoints). However, he had relatively little interest in landscape (he did not paint out of doors) and therefore did not share the Impressionist concern for rendering the effects of changing light and atmosphere. The appearance of spontaneity and accidental effects in his work was an appearance only; in reality his pictures were carefully composed. He said that ‘Even when working from nature, one has to compose’ and that ‘No art was ever less spontaneous than mine’.... ...

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