Degas by Himself

Richard Kendall, Editor, Edgar Degas, Author Bulfinch Press $50 (328p) ISBN 978-0-8212-1685-9
Although Degas' letters and notebook jottings don't tell us much about his views on art, they nevertheless offer a sometimes revealing self-portrait. He writes about his obsessions with photography, ballet and lithography. He discusses the painful isolation and pleasures of his bachelor existence and his frustrations as an artist. In impressionistic travel notes and breezy letters to friends, Degas' sharp eye and quick wit come through. Yet, it is the superb illustrations that make this scrapbook of writings and conversations a delight. Along with pastels, paintings and prints, there are seldom-seen improvisational drawings and detailed studies from the notebooks. In lush, impressionistic seascapes, dark, almost symbolic landscapes and works of startling, even violent power, we see an unfamiliar side of the artist. The more familiar dancers, jockeys and bathers are here too. Lovers of Degas will treasure this volume. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-7858-0166-5
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