Woman Combing her Hair, 1887-90 (pastel on paper), Degas, Edgar (1834-1917) / Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library
The romance of the ballet is poignantly captured by French artist Edgar Degas (1834-1917). A keen observer, Degas preferred to be called a Realist, although his style is related to that of Impressionists. His innovative composition, skillful drawing, and perceptive portrayal of movement is uniquely his own. Degas also depicted social settings such as racecourses, cafes, and music halls. A profound influence on later artists, Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas made sketches from living models to capture their spontaneity, later completing the paintings in the studio.