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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Manic Artist Monday - Edgar Degas

Welcome to "Manic Artist Monday" where I will share some interesting tidbits on some of the great masters in art history. Today's selection is one of my most favorite artists, Edgar Degas. Above is a page in my art journal featuring a stenciled background painted with mists. The background is wonderful and goes perfectly with my favorite quote from one of the Masters...Edgar Degas!

Degas is referred to as one of the founders of Impressionism, though he rejected this and wanted to be called a REALIST. He studied the traditional methods of classical painters and he applied his masterful technical skill to his colorful paintings best known for capturing movement and private moments; exemplified in his works of bathers, ballet dancers and horse racing.

The Dance Class (La Classe de Danse),1873–1876, oil on canvas, by Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas is also one of the artists featured in the book "Secret Lives of Great Artists" - and several pages are dedicated to his dramatic life. He was one of the group of painters who rebelled against the Paris "Salon" exhibitions. He never married and it was quite the topic of speculation. He is quoted in saying, "What would I want a wife I can come home after a long day at the studio to hear...'that's a nice painting, dear'..." I can totally relate. To an artist that could be as bad as hearing nails on a chalkboard. 

One woman seemed to be his companion, artist Mary Cassatt - though it was an on-again, off-again complex relationship. His biting commentary of her work would alienate her and she wouldn't speak with him for months, then eventually their painting collaboration would bring them back together again. I am a fan of both painters and it seems she was his mental equal and vice-versa.

If Degas was still around today, he would probably go delirious with our modern day fashions. He couldn't stand women who were past their prime, particularly those who insisted on dressing in clothing only appropriate for younger ladies, and he didn't have a problem scrutinizing them for it. I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I read this.

Here's a few of my favorite quotes by Degas - I think you might like these and have a little chuckle, too.

"In painting you must give the idea of the true by means of the false."

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do."

"Everyone has talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty."

If you would like to know more about Edgar Degas, CLICK HERE to read his wikipedia entry.

I hope you find this interesting, intriguing and inspiring. I will feature another artist next week for the next installment MANIC ARTIST MONDAY. Have a great week! 
:) Sb

1 comment:

  1. Your journal is beautiful and I can truly see the inspiration from Degas in this!
    I took two semesters of art history in college and I loved getting the background 'dirt' on the famous artists. It really gives a new appreciation and perspective to their works. Fantastic post!


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