Edgar Degas

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Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas was born in Paris, in 1834, into an aristocratic family. In his childhood, Degas was never short of money. Throughout his life, unlike others, he never doubted his vocation as a painter. Also, Degas' family, unlike the families of other great artists like Michelangelo, always supported his ambition to become an artist. This support was one of the best things he had going for him because he was a very shy person. It was in part because of this that he never married. He is best known for his paintings of ballet scenes while using a technique called impressionism. Edgar Degas had a hard time pleasing the public with his art. Therefore, he was not the most popular artist of his time. One, while working in his studio, he was talking with fellow artist and friend, English painter Walter Richard Sickert. After talking, they decided to walk down to the local café.

When Sickert was about to call a horse-drawn carriage, Degas told him to hold on a minute. He then proceeded to tell Sickert that, "... Personally, I do not like cabs. You do not see anyone..." Degas, for the first time, had admitted his loneliness to another human. Edgar Degas died in 1917 alone and unmarried. He left behind a number of magnificent paintings but sadly not very many friends at all.

Impressionism, a major movement in painting that developed chiefly in France during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Impressionist painting comprises the work produced between about 1867 and 1886 by a group of artists who shared a set of related approaches and techniques. Characteristics of impressionism were an attempt to accurately and objectively record visual reality in terms of transient effects of light and color.