Edgar Degas (1834 –1917) was one of the outstanding draftsmen of the nineteenth century, and drawing was not only a central tenet of his art but also essential to his existence. Through an examination of his drawings and pastels, this book reveals the development of Degas’s style as well the story of his life, including his complicated relationship with the Impressionists.
Following a broadly chronological approach, the author discusses the artist’s various subject areas, from the images of dancers—which form over half of Degas’s total oeuvre—to nudes, laundresses, milliners, and the less well-known racehorse and landscape drawings. He covers the whole career, from when Degas was copying the Old Masters to learn his craft to when he ceased work in 1912 because of failing eyesight, and sets him within the artistic context of the period. Extensive research, including a careful study of the artist’s detailed notebooks, has resulted in a comprehensive exposition with, at its heart, over 200 pencil, black-chalk, pen-and-ink, and charcoal drawings and pastels of timeless appeal.
Christopher Lloyd was surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures in the British Royal Collection from 1988 to 2005. He has curated numerous exhibitions worldwide, including Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolors, Drawings at the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Albertina in Vienna (2011–12). He has published extensively on Western Art and is the author of In Search of a Masterpiece: An Art Lover’s Guide to Great Britain & Ireland (Thames & Hudson, 2011).
“Edgar Degas: Drawings and Pastels is a thoroughly readable narrative history of an artist and his most essential technique as it developed within the contingencies of modern French society.”
“This book contributes an accessible, richly illustrated introduction to the subject.”
"Comprehensive but compact enough to read in bed, this superbly illustrated account encompasses the range of works on paper by the artist who was the 19th century’s greatest draughtsman, equal to the Old Masters."