Degas, like many of the Impressionists, was fond of such new techniques ascropped compositions, dramatic outlines, color theory, and loose brushstrokes. Like many others of his time, he was enchanted by Japanese prints. Degas always called himself a realist rather than an Impressionist. Degas criticized the “licked” look of thick oil paint, and the garish colors and the slapdash methods of en-plein-air painting. He had sometimes contentious relations with his colleagues. Many considered Degas the most respectableartist of his time because he was born into a haute-bourgeois family, and he never completely abandoned the principles of academic draftsmanship in his art.
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