Edgar Degas

Art on This Day

Edgar Degas was born on 19 July 1834 and is considered one of the founder of the Impressionist movement, although throughout his life he rejected the term and defined himself as a ‘realist’ or ‘independent’.


Like the other Impressionists, Degas aimed to capture on canvas fleeting moments of city life that best represented Modernity and the epoch-making changes it brought about. However, differently from his fellow painters, Degas always belittled the en plain air technique and preferred to depict indoor scenes set in theatres or cafés.


The subject of more than half of his works, both paintings and sculptures, are female dancers in different situations: backstage, during a class, rehearsing, stretching or performing on stage.