July 19

The Dance Class painting by Edgar Degas

Degas’s fascination with Japanese art led him to adopt some of its conventions, such as hiding figures partly behind architectural details in paintings.

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

1834: Dancing with Degas
Edgar Degas is born in Paris, France
Edgar Degas, one of the most productive 19th century artists and a master at charcoal, oil paint, and pastels, is considered one of the fathers of the Impressionist movement. Thing is, Degas himself disliked this term, preferring to call himself a realist when it came to the subjects he chose and the art he made.

He is best known for his paintings and sculptures of ballerinas, such as The Dance Class. Degas gave us glimpses of dancers waiting in the wings for their cues to go on stage, as well as audiences studying their moves. Mostly, he took his subjects from everyday life, catching a passing moment of motion and emotion.
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