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Edgar Degas Art

French, 1834-1917

Edgar Degas, born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas in Paris in 1834, was the oldest of five children of Célestine Musson De Gas, a Creole from New Orleans, and Augustin De Gas, a banker. Degas began his schooling at age eleven, enrolling in the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, but after his mother died when he was thirteen, his father and grandfather became the main influences on him for the remainder of his youth.

Upon graduating the Lycée in 1853, at age 18, he registered as a copyist in the Louvre Museum, but his father expected him to go to law school. Degas duly enrolled at the faculty of law of the University of Paris, in November 1853, but applied little effort to his studies. In 1855, Degas met Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whose advice he never forgot: “Draw lines, young man, and still more lines, both from life and from memory, and you will become a good artist.” In April of that year, Degas was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts.

Evidence of Degas’ classical education can be seen in his early painting, Young Spartans Exercising (ca. 1860; National Gallery, London), done while he was still in his twenties. After 1865, when the Salon accepted his history painting The Misfortunes of the City of Orléans (Musée d'Orsay, Paris), Degas did not paint Academic subjects again, focusing his attention on scenes of modern life. He began to paint scenes of such urban leisure activities as horse racing and, after about 1870, of café-concert singers and ballet dancers. Degas' interest in ballet dancers intensified in the 1870s, and eventually he produced approximately 1,500 works on the subject. These are not traditional portraits, but studies that address the movement of the human body, exploring the physicality and discipline of the dancers through the use of contorted postures and unexpected vantage points.

Following the opening of trade with Japan in 1854, many French artists, including Degas, were increasingly influenced by Japanese prints. Degas abstracted from these prints their inventive compositions and points of view, particularly in his use of cropping and asymmetry [Dancers Practicing at the Bar (1877); Dancers, Pink and Green (ca. 1890)]. He also observed how sixteenth-century Italian Mannerists similarly framed their subjects, sometimes cutting off part of a figure.

Degas had an interest in a wide range of media, including engraving, monotype, and photography. Before 1880, he generally used oils for his completed works, but after 1875, he began using pastels more frequently, even in finished works such as Portraits at the Stock Exchange (1876). He submitted a suite of nudes, all rendered in pastel, to the final Impressionist exhibition in 1886; among these was Woman Bathing in a Shallow Tub (1885). The figures in these pastels were criticized for their ungainly poses.

By the late 1880s, Degas’s eyesight had begun to fail, perhaps as a result of an injury suffered during his service in defending Paris during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. After that time he focused almost exclusively on dancers and nudes, increasingly turning to sculpture. Degas continued working as late as 1912, when he was forced to leave the studio in Montmartre in which he had labored for more than twenty years. He died five years later in 1917, at the age of eighty-three.

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(Biography provided by Stern Pissarro Gallery)

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Artist: Edgar Degas
Actresses in Their Dressing Rooms
By Edgar Degas
Located in Fairlawn, OH
Actresses in Their Dressing Rooms etching & aquatint, 1879-1880 Unsigned as usual for all canceled plate impressions Reference: Delteil 28, Shapiro 50 vi/vi with the cancelation line...
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1870s Impressionist Edgar Degas Art

Materials

Aquatint

"Racehorses In A Landscape" Met Poster
By Edgar Degas
Located in Bristol, CT
Classic colour poster 'Racehorses in a Landscape' for the Met Museum 'Degas' exhibition from 1988/'89 Image Sz: 29"H x 33 5/8"W Frame Sz: 30"H x 35"W w/ bronze metal frame
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1980s Edgar Degas Art

Materials

Paper

Edgard Degas: Horse Clearing an Obstacle (work 48 /certified by Comité Degas)
By Edgar Degas
Located in Gent, VOV
Horse Clearing an Obstacle (work number 48) Bronze with dark brown green patina bearing the stamp of the signature "Degas", Numbered IV/IX and dated 1998 Posthumous lost wax casting as of 1998. Stamp of Valsuani. Signed Degas The work is a sought-after rarity in terms of Degas’ sculptures. This bronze is distinguished by the fact that it is a Valsuani bronze, meaning it faithfully records Degas’ wax version’s as it appeared at the time of its creation. Most Degas' bronzes that are found on the market were cast by Hébrard – these serialized bronzes are surmoulages, or “aftercasts,” that were cast from the modèle bronzes currently in the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena). Because these Hebrard bronzes...
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1880s Impressionist Edgar Degas Art

Materials

Bronze

[Après la toilette- Femme nue assise].
By Edgar Degas
Located in PARIS, FR
Edgar DEGAS Paris 1834 † 1917 id. [After the Toilet - Seated Naked Woman]. Circa 1885. Monotype in black ink. Second impression on watermarked laid paper ("MA"), with the artist's re...
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1880s Edgar Degas Art

Materials

Monotype

Portrait de Ludovic Halévy.
By Edgar Degas
Located in PARIS, FR
Edgar DEGAS Paris 1834 † 1917 id. Portrait of Ludovic Halévy. About 1895-1896. Photograph. Original silver gelatine print. 82 x 74 mm. Of great rarity. Only one other known print (L...
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1890s Edgar Degas Art

Materials

Silver Gelatin

Fillette portant des fleurs dans son tablier
By Edgar Degas
Located in Basel, CH
EDGAR DEGAS (PARIS, 1834 – PARIS, 1917) Fillette portant des fleurs dans son tablier Vers 1860-62 Huile sur toile 73,3 x 55,7 cm. Signée en bas à droite « Degas » PROVENANCE Vente d...
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1860s Edgar Degas Art

Materials

Oil

Certified Edgard Degas Bronze of a horse : (Horse walking at a high pace)
By Edgar Degas
Located in Gent, VOV
Cheval marchant au pas relevé is one of the artist’s most elegant and exacting models of a horse. It underscores Degas’s deep understanding of equine anatomy and his ability to render it with lightness and charm. Known for his focus on contemporary subjects, Degas first began depicting horses in the 1860s. As a member of the prestigious Jockey Club in Paris, Degas was a habitué of the racecourses at Deauville and Longchamps, where he could study the beauty of thoroughbred horses at close quarters. Although the artist was not an active participant himself, equestrian sports fascinated Degas throughout his life, as it allowed him to capture the full range of the horse’s movement in a wealth of poses. Bronze with dark brown patina bearing the stamp of the signature "Degas", numbered IV/IX and dated 1998. Posthumous lost wax casting as of 1998. Stamp of Valsuani. The work is a sought-after rarity in terms of Degas’ sculptures. This bronze is distinguished by the fact that it is a Valsuani bronze, meaning it faithfully records Degas’ wax version’s as it appeared at the time of its creation. Most Degas' bronzes that are found on the market were cast by Hébrard – these serialized bronzes are surmoulages, or “aftercasts,” that were cast from the modèle bronzes currently in the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena). Because these bronzes are second generation, they are smaller and far less detailed than the current bronze. This example, however, was cast by Valsuani from a plaster that was taken directly from Degas’ waxes, according to scholarship by the art historian Dr. Gregory Hedberg. These plasters were created by Degas’ sculptor friend Albert Bartholomé shortly after Degas completed his wax figurines. Thus, they record the earliest versions of Degas’ wax sculptures, before they were damaged by time or handling, and before Degas himself altered the works. The Hébrard bronzes...
Category

1880s Impressionist Edgar Degas Art

Materials

Bronze

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Fourth Position Front, on the Left Leg
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Signed, numbered, dated, and stamped with foundry mark “Degas / 6G / 1998 / CIRE C.VALSUANI PERDUE” Bronze This extraordinary bronze sculpture of a dancer in motion was conceived by the great Impressionist Edgar Degas. Entitled Fourth Position Front, on the Left Leg, the bronze exhibits an exceptional level of balance and poise. Her graceful carriage and seemingly effortless control over her body is enhanced by the expressivity of her execution - the most minute details and textures of Degas' original wax are beautifully translated in the superb bronze cast. Degas pursued the art of sculpture during the latter years of his career, crafting in wax all of his favorite subjects, from horses to women to dancers of the ballet. It was his dancers that most intrigued him in sculptural form, and of the seventy-four wax sculptures he is known to have created, over half of them depicted dancers. These creations emerged as a stunning three-dimensional representation of his highly expressive late painting style, and the present figure is no exception. Caught mid-movement in a common ballet pose, she appears arrested in time, a picture of grace and elegant movement captured in bronze. The work is a sought-after rarity in terms of Degas’ sculptures. Not only are his dancers the most desirable of his work, but this bronze is also distinguished by the fact that it is a Valsuani bronze, meaning it faithfully records Degas’ wax version’s pose as it appeared at the time of its creation. Most Degas' bronzes that are found on the market were cast by Hébrard – these serialized bronzes are surmoulages, or “aftercasts,” that were cast from the modèle bronzes currently in the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena). Because these bronzes are second generation, they are smaller and far less detailed that the current bronze. This example, however, was cast by Valsuani from a plaster that was taken directly from Degas’ waxes, according to scholarship by the art historian Dr. Gregory Hedberg. These plasters were created by Degas’ sculptor friend Albert Bartholomé shortly after Degas completed his wax figurines. Thus, they record the earliest versions of Degas’ wax sculptures, before they were damaged by time or handling, and before Degas himself altered the works. The Hébrard bronzes...
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1930s Impressionist Edgar Degas Art

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Danseuse a la barre
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Antique Bronze Sculpture Edgar Degas, "Tête, étude portrait de Madame S, " 1892
By Edgar Degas
Located in Portland, OR
Antique Bronze Sculpture, "Tête, étude pour le portrait de Madame S" by Edgar Degas (1834-1917), 1892. Original bronze female bust with brownish gold patina on stone base (cast 1919-37). With the incised signature and numbered 11/S, lower verso. Cast by A.A. Hébrard, Paris, with the foundry mark lower verso. This bronze was featured in the Swann Galleries March 13th 2018 catalogue, page 51. Published in Czestochowski and Pingeot, Degas Sculptures...
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Danseuse Mettant son Chaussonm, Impressionist Etching
By Edgar Degas
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
Artist: Edgar Degas Title: Danseuse Mettant son Chausson Medium: Original Etching from Cancelled Plate Edition: Out of 150, Second and Final State Publisher: Vollard, Paris Dimensi...
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1880s Impressionist Edgar Degas Art

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Les Blanchisseuses (Le Repassage)-The Laundresses
By Edgar Degas
Located in Milwaukee, WI
"Les Blanchisseuses (Le Repassage)-The Laundresses" is an original etching by Impressionist artist Edgar Degas. This piece was a restrike in the fifth an...
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1880s Impressionist Edgar Degas Art

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Etching

Edgar Degas art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Edgar Degas art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Edgar Degas in paper, bronze, etching and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 19th century and is mostly associated with the Impressionist style. Not every interior allows for large Edgar Degas art, so small editions measuring 3 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Henri Edmond Cross, Tony Minartz, and Emil Kosa Jr.. Edgar Degas art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at £1,118 and tops out at £1,369,136, while the average work can sell for £40,951.

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