Edgar Degas: Museum Patronage

Edgar Degas- Studio- Photo

Degas Self-Portrait with Christine and Yvonne Lerolle

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” -Edgar Degas

“While Degas was aware of photography from the beginning of his career, he did not take up the medium until 1895, when he embraced it with great enthusiasm. By then, the motifs in his paintings and pastels-dancers, women at their toilette, horses, and even his rare forays into landscape-were established, as were his untraditional viewpoints, lighting effects, and compositions; what was novel was his approach to his materials. Characteristically, he eschewed the accepted standards of photographic practice, the decreed fashions of the portrait studio, and the aesthetics of the “Photo-Club” artist; instead, his technique was driven exclusively by the effect he wished to achieve.

“Degas’s brief but passionate involvement with photography resulted in a small body of fascinating and engaging pictures. Most of his surviving photographs are figure studies, self-portraits, and portraits of his intimate circle of friends-the families of Ludovic Halévy, Stéphane Mallarmé, Henry Lerolle, Auguste Renoir, Jacques-Emile Blanche, and others-in settings suggestive of realms more psychological than physical. In this magical image-one of Degas’s finest-the artist himself seems to lean back deep in thought, conjuring up an image of youthful feminine grace in the form of the white-clad Lerolle daughters.” –Metropolitan Museum of Art

IN DEPTH ON IMPRESSIONISM:

WATCH:The Impressionists
directed by Tim Dunn
"Looking back on his life in 1920, Claude Monet recalls the story of the Impressionists – a movement that shook the foundation of the art world. With his fellow painters, Auguste Renoir and Frederic Bazille, they begin a forty year struggle against the Salon, the annual state art exhibition. From meeting his hero Edouard Manet to the death of his wife and his lifelong struggles for success, Monet along with his friends and rivals ultimately find the success that they only dreamed was possible.(more)..."
WATCH & PAINT:Impressionism: The Authentic Method
This is a preview of an instructional video produced by Jerry Fresia

"This series features the authentic method of Impressionist painting, handed down from teacher to student - from the Impressionists themselves to such artists as John Singer Sargent, Robert Henri, Ivan Olinsky, Robert Brackman, and William Schultz.

"How-to demos and theory for painting in the authentic Impressionist tradition. Part 1, the Mechanics of Painting reveals how a painting is broken down into 5 stages. Part 2, Painting on the Pleasure Side of the Brain, teaches how and why the pleasure of seeing drives the process. Part 3, Lake Como in Plein-Air, a painting demo on Lake Como, Italy, employing the lessons learned in Parts 1 and 2.(more)....
BOOK: The Private Lives of the Impressionists
by Sue Roe
"Though they were often ridiculed or ignored by their contemporaries, today astonishing sums are paid for their paintings. Their dazzling works are familiar to even the most casual art lovers—but how well does the world know the Impressionists as people? Sue Roe's colorful, lively, poignant, and superbly researched biography, The Private Lives of the Impressionists, follows an extraordinary group of artists into their Paris studios, down the rural lanes of Montmartre, and into the rowdy riverside bars of a city undergoing monumental change. Vivid and unforgettable, it casts a brilliant, revealing light on this unparalleled society of genius colleagues who lived and worked together for twenty years and transformed the art world forever with their breathtaking depictions of ordinary life.(more)...