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Edgar Degas


Born: 19 July 1834
Died: 27 September 1917
Birthplace: Paris, France
Best known as: 19th century French painter of ballet dancers

Name at birth: Hilaire Germain Edgar De Gas

Edgar Degas was a 19th century artist from France who is best known for paintings, pastels and drawings of dancers, women at the toilette and Parisian street scenes. The product of a wealthy Parisian banking family, Degas studied art extensively and became a master draftsman by the 1860s. Although his style was more realistic and naturalistic, he joined the Impressionist school (Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, et al) for exhibitions -- and has historically been linked to them aesthetically. Degas was known to have done hundreds of drawings before committing to a painting, and he experimented with media throughout his career. Some of his most famous paintings include Woman with Chrysanthemums (1865), The Dance Class (1873-76), L'Absinthe (1876) and After the Bath (1898). His sculptures from later in his career -- lots of dancers -- are seen all over the world.

Extra credit: He was friends with and helped the career of Mary Cassatt... His last name is pronounced "deh-GAH."

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