Happy Birthday to Edgar Degas , master pastelist. He caught the intimate, quiet and personal moments of his subjects. I always feel as though I am gazing back through time at a real fleeting moment. Degas also was a wonderful pastelist and is well known for using the famed Roche pastels check this link to see the pastels he used which are still being made today.
Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Vor dem Spiegel,um 1889
© Hamburger Kunsthalle / bpk
Photo: Elke Walford
At the Milliner's by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
is a pastel on pale gray woven paper, laid down on
silk bolting (30 x 34 inches). This work can be seen at
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
His compositions show cropping , close ups and the use of diagonals. He is known for using many sketches to create a single composition. He also used photography and had an early Kodak camera. I , of course love his pastels but Degas used beaucoup media. He painted in oils, sculpted in clay, drew all the time and used the printmaking medium. He would create monotypes and work back into them using oils and pastel to create a richer image.
He came from the wealthy de Gas family of France who made their money in banking in Italy. His mother was a Musson and her family was Creole and became wealthy in the Louisiana cotton business. He was to spend three years as a young man in Italy studying and being influenced by Italian art. He also spent almost a year in New Orleans visiting his American family. His family as they read, and did small household chores is often the subject of his art.
Give yourself a Degas celebration and look at his work this week. Felicitations a Degas!