This excellently illustrated book examines the mastery of the pastel technique that was such an outstanding feature of Degas' art. Although Degas was not unique in using pastel, it eventually became a method that he explored as few have done. Jockeys in the rain is a splendid example of the use of the medium. The eldest of five children, Degas came from a privileged Parisian family and received a strict, classical education. He acquired an early taste for art, and although he went to law school he spent his time drawing, visiting the studios of artists and viewing private collections owned by friends of his father. He entered the studios of Barrias and Lamothe, and studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts before travelling widely in Italy. Throughout his life he was caught midway between the Paris Salon and the impressionists. He was always aware of the problems of light and tone and took advice from Ingres, for whom he had the highest admiration. Degas was a master portrayer of everyday reality but one of his greatest qualities was his draughtsmanship in the classical tradition, being comparable to that of Ingres himself. This is a fascinating and authoritative exploration of the work of a great artist.--Book jacket.
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History and Method
Degas and Impressionism
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19th century academic academic art achieved action artists attractive ballet dancers became Bellelli Family brilliance brother Rene Burrell Collection Cafe Guerbois cave paintings classical Claude Monet constructed contemporary Courbet Delacroix detail opposite draughtsmanship drawing drawn Duranty early Edouard Manet essential Estelle evident example of Degas figures finished friends Gallery gouache horse and jockey impasto important Impressionism Impressionist exhibition include Degas independent Ingres instance intellectual intention interest later laundresses light linear Manet Monet monotype base movement Musee d'Orsay Musee d'Orsay Paris Musee du Louvre noted Nouvelle Athenes nudes observer Oil on canvas oil painting oil pastel Ordrupgaard Orleans painters Parisian pastel method Pastel on paper pastel painting pastel sticks pastel strokes pencil perhaps photograph pictorial picture pigment Pissarro portrait pose Renoir reveals Salon scene sketches social studies subject matter suggestion surface technique Titian tonal tone usually Valpingon visual watercolour writers