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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Edgar Degas and temperament


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Edgar Degas


Edgar Degas (1834-1917) was a French painter best known for his contributions to impressionism. Painter Berthe Morisot said,


"As I admired it [a red pencil and chalk drawing by Degas of a young mother, nursing her child] he showed me a hole series done from the same model and with the same sort of rhythm. He is a draughtsman of the first order..." (Quoted in The Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe)


Write Joris-Karl Huysmans said,


"A painter of modern life had been born, moreover, a painter who derived from and resembled no other, who brought with him a totally new artistic flavor, as well as totally new skills." (L'exposition des Independents, 1880)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Degas.




"Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things." (Quoted in Artists on Art by Robert Goldwater)


"I'm glad to say I haven't found my style yet. I'd be bored to death." (Quoted in Degas Dance Drawing by Paul Valery)


"It seems to me that today, if the artist wishes to be serious - to cut out a little original niche for himself, or at least preserve his own innocence of personality - he must once more sink himself in solitude. There is too much talk and gossip... All this traffic sharpens our intelligence and falsifies our judgement." (Quoted in Artists on Art by Robert Goldwater)




"You must aim high, not in what you are going to do at some future date, but in what you are going to make yourself do today. Otherwise, working is just a waste of time." (Quoted in Renoir - His Life and Work by Francois Fosca)


"What I do is the result of reflection and study of the great masters; of inspiration, spontaneity, temperament - temperament is the word - I know nothing." (Quoted in Impressions and Opinions by Moore)