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Why Study Degas? – Podcast #59

This unusual Impressionist didn’t enjoy plein-air painting (painting outside) or the airy natural light. Instead, he sketched and then returned to his studio to paint. He’s most famous for his paintings of ballet dancers, but he also painted everyday people in the city and action scenes from polo games! In fact, he was incredibly skilled at painting people in the midst of their activity, often from unique angles.

On a personal level, Degas was an irritable, provocative man. His anti-semitic comments and cruel wit left him with very few friends, which suited him just fine since he enjoyed being alone. Thinking about his career, Degas became successful in his own lifetime and managed to support himself with his art.

Late in his life, as he was losing his eyesight, he switched to sculpting. Many of his sculptures were bronzed after he died.

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