Edgar Degas

The Absinthe Drinkers, Oil Painting by Edgar Degas, 1876

The Absinthe Drinkers, Oil on Canvas 36 1/4″ X 26 3/4″, 1876 By French Painter Edgar Degas, 1876

How to Serve Absinthe, also known as “The Green Fairy”, a Gourmet Magazine Video

The Absinthe Drinkers is in the Collection of Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Edgar Degas (19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917), born to an aristocratic banking family in Paris as Hilaire-Germain-Edgar de Gas (pronounced [ilɛʀ ʒɛʁmɛ̃ ɛdɡɑʀ dœˈɡɑ]), was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist. A highly-skilled draftsman, Degas is especially identified with the subject of classical ballet, and more than half his works, both drawings and paintings, depict dancers. These creations display Degas’ mastery in the depiction of movement, as do his racecourse subjects (horses in motion at the tracks in France) and female nudes. His portraits are considered to be among the finest in the history of art.

Early in his career, his ambition was to be a history painter, a calling for which he was well prepared by his rigorous academic training and close study of classic art. In his early thirties he changed course, and by employing the traditional methods of a history-painter on contemporary subject matter, he became a classical painter of modern French life.


Racehorses at Longchamps, Edgar Degas, 1866

Self-Portrait of Edgar Degas, 1855

©M-J de Mesterton 2006