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  1. #1
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    Degas, in his late years

    I was just browsing thru the ARC website, and I happen to stumble upon Degas' page of artworks. In it were a bunch of portraits and photos of himself. I somehow felt sadness for him when I saw a photo in which he was already in his final years.
    Degas, in his late years Degas, in his late years

    There's this sadness in his eyes that is evident. Maybe the loss of his other contemporaries was hard for him, and that contributed to his loneliness.

    I read that he started to lose his eyesight, and somehow caused him to be reclusive. And so he stopped doing paintings and just focused on sculptures and pastel works. Anyway, this two photo's had an impact on me, and I was wondering if some of you guys know what his state was during his final years. Feel free to share your thoughts.


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  3. #2
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    I know that he started losing his eyesight when he was in his 40s. Roughly about the time he started making his pastels and later wax sculptures, but I don't know if there's a direct connection to that fact. Monet also had sight problems, but kept painting longer than Degas.

    Don't read too much into the sad look. From what I've read he was a pretty ornery guy.

  4. #3
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    Haha, Degas was soooo... EMO!

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    That pic on the right does say it all. I've also heard that he was quite ornery and some 'critics' have called him a mysogonist because he didn't have any know relationships and that he died a virgin. As far as being a mysogonist, I think that's bs; look at his subject matter. Mostly women. Of course, painting all those women and not get any, well, maybe that's why he was ornery.

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    painting all those women and not get any
    I'm not sure about that. Besides lolita like ballerinas he made intimate pastel drawings of hot professional bordello chicks (bathing nude series).

    Life drawings of naked chicks sponging themselves! One on one model to artist ratio in complete privacy of a love shack suite. Soak that thought in your mind for a second.

    I think the critics you're referring too just want to paint him into a particular orientation category.

    I'm betting Degas got more than just fine drawings out of those steamy sessions .

  7. #6
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    I've always thought that too, he was probably just being 'discreet.' He probably didn't want his lady friends thinking or knowing that he was the man about town. Ha! I'm beginning to think that that photo was just acting.

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    Maybe it was because he abused women.
    How do you know if he got some or not? what are you his biographer?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steinmetz
    Maybe it was because he abused women.
    How do you know if he got some or not? what are you his biographer?
    I wish. Just having a little fun, nothing to worry about.

    I seriously doubt that he ever abused women, he's not going to paint something that often if he hates the subject. I'm not his biographer, but I have read quite a bit about him.

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    Hey, I'm just telling it how it is but I'm more interested in me getting some
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  11. #10
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    Somene told me that Degas regretted starting his drawings with the head, and only realized later in life that starting at the feet is better, but alas by then it was too late for him to do anythign about his habit. Maybe thats why hes so down. Although i think he looks more confused and tired in those pics than sad.

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    how does that work? it's like starting a picture backwards, people don't do it like that anymore
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  13. #12
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    well it makes sense if you consider the importance of the feet in a drawing. The feet channel the weight of the body and establish a solid floor plane underneath. Drawing those wrong makes your figures look wonky. once you have the feet you can easily put in the legs, then how the pelvis rests. Using the head to start can easily miss out on the lower body rythms. think about what role the head plays in supporting any pose and youll see its pretty independent to the rest of the body.

  14. #13
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    sometimes if youre that good, starting anywhere can be ok. Ive done drawings where I found myself starting with the feet up or hands, for no reason. But I still prefer the head down.

  15. #14
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    I think it's safer to do a brief sketch of the whole body first before commiting anything like feet or hands or head
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