Ballerinas, prostitutes, laundresses, and nudes, often at their toilette: for these subjects (Hilaire Germain) Edgar Degas (1834-1917) became famous, even infamous. His wit and his acerbic personality, products of spending his formative years wrapped in his wealthy family's indulgence, often placed him at the center of the café society in Paris, an artist's artist in a group of like-minded creative geniuses. Degas, with friends Mary Cassatt, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, frequented galleries and his favorite Montmartre watering hole, the Café Guerbois. Unfortunately, infirmity, blindness, and inability to paint took their toll and isolated the native Parisian, who became a recluse—and a pauper—for several years preceding his death.
Torpy JM. Young Woman With Ibis. JAMA. 2011;306(6):586. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1068
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