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Edgar Degasí aristocratic family expected him to go into law. While in law school, however, he met the painter Ingres, who told him, "Draw lines, young man, and still more lines, both from life and from memory, and you will become a good artist."
Quitting law school, Degas studied art in Italy and became one of the preeminent artists of the nineteenth century, especially renowned for his portrayals of nudes and performers. Prolific, too! He painted over a thousand portraits of opera and ballet scenes alone including the painting "Woman in the Bath" shown in this composite.
In his forties, his eyesight began to fail. Undaunted, he switched from painting to pastels and sculpture.
(Excerpt from the book "Revisiting the Classics.")
April 23rd, 2013
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