Degas was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking, and drawing. His career was long and his style, unlike that of most famous artists who worked into their old age, never ceased developing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism and is especially identified with the subject of dance (over half of his works depict dancers, such as The Dance Class or the sculpture The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer). These display his mastery in the depiction of movement, as do his more rare, coarse subjects and female nudes (La Toilette). His portraits are considered to be among the finest in the history of art. His work was strongly influenced by Ingres and Delacroix combining the expressive qualities of the former with the colour of the latter.
Nathalia Brodskaïa is a curator at The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. She has published monographs on Rousseau, Renoir, Derain, Vlaminck, and Van Dongen, as well as many books on the Fauves and Naïve Art. She is currently working on a study of French painters at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.
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