Degas | Female Studies | Ballerinas

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) was trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the style of grand history paintings esteemed by the French Salon. Over time, his interests drifted to more contemporary topics when he joined a group of artists painting scenes from every day life with an interest in studies of light, to be dubbed The Impressionists. Degas painted many studies of female stage dancers and ballerinas with an interest in capturing their private moments and feelings of isolation. Influenced by Japanese wood block prints newly imported to Paris, his paintings are characterized by dramatic perspective angles and large areas of color. In later years when his eyesight began to fail, he worked in sculpture completing his most identifiable statue Little Dancer of Fourteen Years (La petite danseuse de quatorze d'ans).