Degas Introduction (05:37)
France engaged in reconstruction after Napoleon Bonaparte's exile and the destruction of the Paris Commune. On April 4th, 1877 the third exhibition of impressionist art opened featuring Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas. From 1852-1870, Baron Haussmann carried out a massive urban renewal project.
Portraying Prostitutes (03:45)
Degas wanted to peep through the keyhole on prostitutes. Brothels were an integral part of Parisian social life. "The Pretty Women of Paris: A Guide to Pleasure for Visitors to the Gay City" scorns women without education. Exhibits at the zoological society and the follies paraded African women alongside animals.
Degas' Background (03:42)
After dropping out of law school, Degas studied at the Louvre and École des Beaux-Arts before traveling to America and visiting his family, who had become wealthy in the slave trade. Intransigent Impressionists organized art exhibitions because no gallery would accept their paintings.
Exploitation of Women (02:22)
Louis Edmond Duranty called Degas "the inventor of social chiaroscuro." Learn how women such as Louise Michel and Hubertine Auclert pioneered women's rights. Impressionists echoed the suffragette movement and showed women's artwork along with men's work; Mary Cassatt arranged the first exhibition in New York City.
Degas' Dancers (03:50)
Degas' sketched the dancers of the Opera Garnier alongside society. Monet exhibited a series of painting about Saint-Lazare station at the Impressionist exhibition in 1877. Impressionists captured Paris' modernity, using wallpaper, modern architecture, and incorporating trends of the time.
Parisian Fashion (02:26)
Prostitutes were once forced to wear yellow, but French law dictated somber attire. Women began to wear extravagant hats to attract male suitors. Industrialization allowed fashion to be mass produced and ready to wear.
Degas' Legacy (03:20)
Degas canvas' changed as his eyesight deteriorated. Learn how Japanese prints and the invention of cameras influenced Impressionist canvases. Degas captured an image of Parisian life during the 19th century..
Credits: Degas: Smart Secrets of Great Paintings (00:39)
Credits: Degas: Smart Secrets of Great Paintings
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