Edgar Degas was a French artist who became a master at skillfully painting and drawing the human body in motion. He focused on scenes in contemporary life and is best known for his paintings and drawings of ballerinas and race horses. More than half of the paintings, drawings, and sculptures of this master are devoted to the activities of ballerinas. He was exceptionally gifted as a draftsman and had a brilliant mastery of technique.
Degas was a part of the Impressionist group and participated in most of the independent Impressionist Exhibitions. However, he was set apart from the rest of the group. Unlike most Impressionists, Degas had a more classical style with a continuity of form and he did not paint from nature but preferred the studio. He was an Impressionist who helped to connect the classic traditional art with the contemporary art movements of the 20th century.