portrait of Edgar Degas
Self-portrait, 1855

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Quotes of the Day for 19 July 2003 – Edgar Degas

Edgar Hilaire Germain de Gas was born at Paris on this day in 1834. His banker father had changed the family name from "Degas" to "de Gas" as a pretense to an aristocratic lineage, a pretense that Edgar did not maintain. Degas trained in art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, then spent a year in Italy copying the Renaissance masters. He is best known as one of the Impressionists, but painted in other styles as well as sculpting. The acid-tongued artist devoted most of his time to the life of Paris; theaters, dance halls, circuses, racetracks, and most of all, the ballet. He created about 1500 paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and sculptures of dancers.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.


The quotes:

No art was ever less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and study of the great masters; of inspiration, spontaneity, temperament ... I know nothing.
     - Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917

There is love, and there is work; and we have only one heart.
     - Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917

What use is my mind? Granted that it enables me to hail a bus and to pay my fare. But once I am inside my studio, what use is my mind? I have my model, my pencil, my paints. My mind doesn't interest me.
     - Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917

If I could have had my own way, I would have confined myself to black and white.
     - Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917

A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.
     - Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917

I'm glad I haven't found my style yet. I'd be bored to death.
     - Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917


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