French painter who was a masterful draftsman of the human figure.
From a wealthy Parisian family, Degas devoted himself exclusively to painting without needing to sell a canvas. He spent five years in Italy, studied the Old Masters in the Louvre, and trained under one of Ingres' students at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
By the mid-1860s Degas was turning to modern themes, particularly contemporary Parisian life. He developed his own style of painting out of the neoclassical tradition and incorporated into his art a sense of composition developed from his study of Japanese prints. Degas was primarily concerned with depicting movement, from horses to women in various dressing, bathing, and as cabaret performers.
He painted the first of his ballet dancers around 1873. Almost blind for his last twenty years, Degas worked mostly in pastel with increasingly broad, free handling.
Delacroix was a tragic painter, and he expressed this tragic feeling in works that were of a gory nature. The writings of Shakespeare, Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott inspired many of his paintings. Dante's 'Inferno' provided the subject matter for his first sucessful painting.
The French artistic establishment considered him a wild man and he was prohibited from teaching in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. But the French government bought his paintings and commissioned murals throughout Paris.
Though Delacroix aimed to balance classicism and Romanticism, his art centered on a revolutionary idea born with the Romantics: that art should be created out of sincerity, that it should express the artist's true feelings and convictions. After his visit to Morocco, Delacroix's canvases often dealt with harem scenes, lion hunts, and scenes from Arab life.
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