Degas Experts History

Degas
chronology

  • Event

  • Born in Paris, France.

  • Self-Portrait, 1857–1858

    Self-Portrait, 1857–1858, oil on paper on canvas, 8 1/8 x 6 ¼, Getty Museum

  • Degas enters Louis-le-Grand secondary school on Rue Saint-Jacques.

  • René de Gas, 1855, black chalk heightened with traces of white chalk on ivory paper

    René de Gas, 1855, black chalk heightened with traces of white chalk on ivory paper, 346 x 280 mm, Art Institute of Chicago

  • Degas'Mother, Célestine, dies after birthing five children (Edgar is age 13).

  • Completes secondary school; begins copying at the Louvre Museum (April 7).
    November: registers for law school to appease his father.
    Studies with Louis Lamothe (French, 1822–1869).

  • Italian Head, 1856, charcoal with stumping

    Italian Head, 1856, charcoal with stumping, 384 x 260 mm, Art Institute of Chicago

  • Admitted to École des Beaux-Arts, placed 33rd in entry competition; attends for one semester, then drops out.
    Meets Jean Dominique Ingres through the elderly collector Valpinçon. Paints a self-portrait, posing in the manner of Ingres

  • Moves to Rome, Italy.

  • Travels to Florence; stays with relatives: the Bellillifamily;meets Gustave Moreau.

  • Portrait of Bellelli Family, 1860–1862

    Portrait of Bellelli Family, 1860–1862, oil on canvas, 200 x 253 cm, Musée d'Orsay

  • Returns to Paris; in November moves into a spacious studio; devotes himself to large history paintings that often go unfinished; executes self-portraits and first racetrack scenes.

  • Young Spartans Exercising, 1860, oil painting

    Young Spartans Exercising, 1860, oil painting, 109.5 X 155 cm, National Gallery, London

  • Degas meets Édouard Manet while copying at the Louvre.

  • Édouard Manet, bust-length portrait

    Édouard Manet, bust-length portrait, 1864–1865, etching, drypoint, and aquatint, 122 x 97 mm (image), Art Institute of Chicago, (Friends)

  • Artist begins writing his name as “Degas” as opposed to “de Gas.” First exhibit at the Salon; continues to exhibit there until 1870;subject matter turns to portraiture. Forges friendship with artist James Tissot (French, 1836-1902).

  • The Scenes of War from the Middle Ages/Misfortunes of the City of Orleans, 1863

    The Scenes of War from the Middle Ages/Misfortunes of the City of Orleans, 1863, MIT Collection

  • Exhibits Bellelli Family at the Salon.

  • Portrait of Mlle Fiocre in the Ballet

    Portrait of Mlle Fiocre in the Ballet "La Source," 1867–1868, oil on canvas, 130.8 x 145.1 cm, Brooklyn Museum

  • Trip to Brussels, Belgium.

  • The Laundresses, 1884–1886

    The Laundresses, 1884–1886, oil on canvas, 76 x 81 cm, Musée d'Orsay

  • Last year exhibiting at the Salon. In April of this year, he submits an open letter to the Salon Academy to reconsider the way in which they display pictures. Paints his first picture of ballerinas dancing;paints The Orchestra of the Opera.

  • Degas serves in the Paris National Guard during the Franco-Prussian war..

  • Paris Commune; Degas in Normandy with his friends the Vollards.

  • Madame Camus, 1869/70

    Madame Camus, 1869/70, oil on canvas, 72.7 x 92.1 cm, National Gallery of Art, DC

  • Event

  • Degas travels to New Orleans with his brother René and paints The Cotton Exchange in New Orleans. Durand-Ruel buys two of Degas'ballet paintings:Dance Class and Dancers at the Opera.

  • Together with Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley and Paul Cézanne forms the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs (what would become the Impressionists).

  • Yellow Dancers (in the Wings), 1874–1876

    Yellow Dancers (in the Wings), 1874–1876, oil on canvas, 73.5 x 59.5 cm, Art Institute of Chicago

  • First Impressionist Exhibition. Artist’s father, Auguste de Gas, dies leaves Edgar in dire financial straits as he struggles to pay off his—previously unknown—family debts. His subject matter becomes deliberately chosen for market.

  • Attends l'Opéra at the Palais Garnier.

  • At the Café Concert of the Ambassadors, 1885

    At the Café Concert of the Ambassadors, 1885, pastel on hard ground print, monotype, 26.5 x 29.5 cm, Musée d’Orsay

  • Stéphane Mallarmé publishes glowing review of Degas in The London Journal.

  • Mlle Bécat at the Café des Ambassadeurs, 1877–1878

    Mlle Bécat at the Café des Ambassadeurs, 1877–1878, lithograph on wove paper, 205 x 193 mm, Art Institute of Chicago

  • Degas’ work The Cotton Exchange in New Orleans is purchased by Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau—becoming his first artwork in a public collection.

  • Befriends Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926). Collaborates with Cassatt and Pissarro on the never published print book Le Jour et la Nuit.

  • Mary Cassatt, portrait, 1976–1878

    Mary Cassatt, portrait, 1976–1878, oil on canvas, 74 x 60 cm, Private Collection, New York

  • Joris-Karl Huysmans devotes long article to Degas in L'Art moderne.

  • Exhibits Little Dancer at the Impressionist Exhibition.

  • Bed-Time, 1880–1885

    Bed-Time, 1880–1885, pastel and print on paper, 22.9 x 44.5 cm

  • Moves to Rue Pigalle.

  • At the Milliner's, 1882

    At the Milliner's, 1882, 70.2 x 70.5 cm, Museum of Modern Art

  • Friend and artistic peer Édouard Manet dies.

  • Regularly attends the Paris Opéra.

  • Eighth and final Impressionist Exhibition in Paris. Travels to Geneva and Naples.

  • Theo Van Gogh begins buying Degas’ work for Boussod et Valadon gallery, ending Durand-Ruel’s monopoly on the artist’s work.

  • Travels to Spain and Morocco. Visits the Prado; attends a bullfight.

  • Moves to Rue Victor-Massé; travels to Switzerland &Burgundy. Begins executing landscapes. George Moore publishes Degas: The Painter of Modern Life. Degas begins to withdraw from the public eye and aggressively collect art.

  • Salle de billard au Menil-Hubert, 1892

    Salle de billard au Menil-Hubert, 1892, oil on canvas, 50.7 x 65.9, Musée d’Orsay

  • Theo Van Gogh dies. Degas no longer sells with Boussod et Valadon.

  • Ceases to regularly attend ballet rehearsals.

  • Purchases camera; begins experimenting with photography, mostly shooting at night.

  • Seven artworks by Degas enter the Luxembourg collection in the Caillebotte bequest.

  • Dreyfus affair causes Degas to lose friends and personal relations.

  • Travels to Naples. George Moore publishes Degas: The painter of Modern Life, an essay in the UK that helped make the artist a celebrity.

  • Ceremony of Ordination in the Cathedral of Lyons

    Ceremony of Ordination in the Cathedral of Lyons, oil on canvas, 31.4 x 23.3 cm, Fitzwilliam Museum

  • Danseuses a la barre sells for 500,000 francs (17,000 pounds) at a Rouart sale in Paris. Degas is now too blind to make art.

  • September 27, he dies from a brain aneurysm

  • Paul Lafond publishes illustrated biography Degas.

  • Estate sale; the discovery of hundreds of unknown works of painting and sculptures brings notoriety to the incredible diversity of Degas’ output.