Edgar Degas

DegasPaintings.org covers the career of French artist Edgar Degas.

Edgar Degas paintings fit perfectly into the art movements of Realism and Impressionism, with the artist preferring to be linked to the former. Edgar Degas played an important role within French art at a time when it was beginning to dominate Europe and was a key member of the group of painters who began the impressionist movement that has since become one of the most popular styles of painting in the world.

Most Edgar Degas paintings cover two separate topics as you will see from the selection of works that are included within this website. Most famously were his frequent portraits of ballerina dancers, sometimes during class lessons and sometimes in a full show. Degas here experiments with all sorts of different outfits and poses with the ballerinas and tackled this topic in more depth than certainly any other artist has done.

Edgar Degas paintings are particularly popular as reproductions for art fans across Europe and North America with people most appreciating the feminine touch within the beautiful ballerinas whilst others prefer his horse race series which offers something very different that underlines the flexibility of the painter. Those buying Degas reproductions typically choose giclee art prints that accurately match the original colour schemes, though posters and stretched canvases are also very popular.

Additionally to his paintings of ballerina dancers, Degas also captured many scenes around a race course as he looked to study horse anatomy in many preparatory sketches plus also use his findings in larger, more complex scenes around several horse racing courses. There were also several intimate portraits of a woman as she has a bath and then combs her hair but the vast majority of Degas's paintings fall into the categories of ballerinas and horses.

Dancers in Blue

Dancers in Blue is one of the best examples of ballerina dancers within the work of Degas and you can see that painting above. Degas was interested in body shape and would experiment with different poses across each of the related paintings. Ballerinas offered extreme positions that otherwise would not be available for his work and so he would spend large amounts of time in the company of these majestic dancers, covering them in different environments.

Edgar Degas always claimed his art to be of the realism style but many have labelled him as a pure impressionist artist and it is easy to see from the colours in his paintings that he was also heavily involved in the rise of that movement too, though later distancing himself as it's popularity grew exponentially. Many painters prefer to avoid being placed in categories that are too popular, thus taking away their individuality as artists.

Four Ballerinas on the Stage

Four Ballerinas on the Stage again features this much loved topic of dancers and helps Degas to again show off his great ability in painting movement effectively which many other artists have struggled to do. Degas initially wanted to portray historical scenes within his career but this quickly changed as he matured and began to have a more individual approach to his career.

After a career which produced so many interesting paintings Degas left a great legacy which is known to have influenced many key artists that followed on after his death. Whilst the exact level of influence is not known there is clear evidence that Degas significantly influenced the ideas and techniques used by big name artists such as Mary Cassatt, Jean-Louis Forain, Walter Sickert and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Green Dancer

Green Dancer is a beautiful painting by Degas which uses exceptionally well chosen colours that light up the work brilliantly and in such a way that it is very easy to understand why this is one of his most loved paintings amongst the art public of the present day who typically are drawn towards those artists with the best and boldest use of colour. Artists considered talented with the use of colour includes Edgar Degas alongside the likes of Marc Chagall, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso.

To add to the paintings included within this website, Degas' other notable works included The Bellelli Family, Woman with Chrysanthemums, Chanteuse de Café and At the Milliner's. The artist also had skills beyond just oil painting and was impressive within drawing and sculpture. It's unquestionably his oil paintings for which he his best remembered and respected and as much as he distanced himself from impressionism as it developed through his lifetime, that link has never diminished.

Ballerinas Sketch

Ballerinas Sketch

Dancer on the Stage

Dancer on the Stage

Ecole de Danse

Ecole de Danse

Dancer in Front of a Window

Dancer in Front of a Window

Danseuse

Danseuse

Woman in Her Bath

Woman in Her Bath

After the Bath

After the Bath

Two Dancers Entering the Stage

Two Dancers Entering the Stage

Fin D'Arabesque

Fin D'Arabesque

The Parade

The Parade

Racehorses

Racehorses

Dance Class

Dance Class

Woman Combing Her Hair Edgar Degas

Woman Combing Her Hair Edgar Degas

List of Famous Edgar Degas Paintings

Look below for a substantial list of the best Edgar Degas paintings that are featured throughout this website.

  • Woman with Chrysanthemums
  • Chanteuse de Café
  • At the Milliner's
  • Portrait of the Bellelli Family
  • Young Spartans Exercising
  • The Amateur
  • Horseracing in Longchamps
  • Portrait of Miss Cassatt, Seated, Holding Cards
  • At the Café-Concert: The Song of the Dog
  • The Singer with the Glove
  • Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando
  • The Millinery Shop
  • Ballet Rehearsal
  • Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers (Star of the Ballet)
  • Stage Rehearsal
  • Dancers at The Bar
  • Woman in the Bath
  • L'Absinthe
  • Place de la Concorde
  • The Tub, Musicians in the Orchestra
  • La Toilette (Woman Combing Her Hair)
  • The Bath - Woman Supporting her Back
  • At the Races
  • The Dance Class (La Classe de Danse)
  • Kneeling Woman
  • The New Orleans Cotton Exchange
  • After the Bath, Woman Drying her Nape
  • The Absinthe Drinker
  • Spartan Girls Challenging Boys
  • Ballet Rehearsal on Stage
  • Women Ironing
  • Woman Combing Her Hair
  • Blue Dancers
  • Dance Class
  • Dancing Class
  • Two dancers on the stage
  • Dance school
  • The Dance lesson
  • The Dance foyer at the Opera
  • Four Dancers
  • The Star
  • Dancers Practising at the Bar
  • Dancer at the Photographers