The mastermind behind the Dance Class

La Classe de Danse, Edgar Degas, 1874

Even though Degas was one of the emblematic painters of the impressionist movement he never liked being identified as one. However, he took part in seven out of eight exhibitions that his peers organized. He became well known for his paintings of dancers at the Opera de Paris and his pictures of racehorses and jockeys. Degas, wanted to depict the impression of the moment just like the other impressionists. One thing he disapproved of was outdoor painting (painting en plein air, as it was called) and he scolded his peers for doing so when given the chance. This painting is unique for its depth and movement. Degas always loved ballet and opera and these types of paintings proved to be quite popular in high society at the time. Edgas was able to overcome serious financial difficulties by selling paintings like this one and we can definitely see why!