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1834 - 1917
Edgar Degas (19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917) was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, and drawing.
His early study of classical art prefaced a body of mature works which convincingly placed the human figure in contemporary
environments. He is regarded as one of the founders of impressionism.
Degas was born in Paris, France to Celestine Musson de Gas, and Augustin de Gas, a banker. The de Gas family was moderately
wealthy. At age 11, Degas began his schooling, and started down the road of art with enrollment in the Lycee Louis Grand.
Degas began to paint seriously early in life; by eighteen he had turned a room in his home into an artist's studio, but he
was expected to go to law school, as were most aristocratic young men. Degas, however, had other plans and left his formal
education at age 20. He then studied drawing with Louis Lamothe, under whose guidance he flourished, following the style
of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (Canaday 930-931). In 1855 Degas met Ingres and was advised by him to "draw lines, young man,
many lines" (Canaday 931). In that same year, Degas received admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The next year, Degas
traveled to Italy, where he saw the paintings of Michelangelo, Raphael, and other artists of the Renaissance.