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Degas Drawings

Degas was inspired in a number of medium including paintings, sculpture, drawings, photography and lithographs. Throughout his life Degas was committed to drawing, it was central to his artistic style from the beginning of his career. He was inspired by Ingres with the importance he placed on balance and the clarity of outline. During his time in Italy, studying many works of the Renaissance, Degas was constantly sketching in his notebooks. Upon his return to Paris he more seriously studied drawing and arguably became one of the best draftsman ever.

Throughout his artistic career Degas used drawing as another way to explore and experiment with his recurring subjects of dancers, horses, and women bathing. He was also known to have completed hundreds of drawings before committing to a painting.

Constantly trying to capture the movement of action, Degas’ style of drawing shows body movement with a number of pencil markings across the paper’s surface. Degas’ lines were rarely beautiful in and of themselves, with no defining edge, but still resulting in beauty none the less.