EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)
Gennem hele sit liv malede Degas landskaber, og i alle teknikker: olie, pastel, graveringer men ikke mindst i monotyperne var han nyskabende og opnåede vidunderlige resultater, der fik stor betydning for kunsten i det 20. årh. At landskaberne stod Degas nær, fremgår af at han valgte landskaber til sin eneste seperat udstilling i 1892.
Degas is renowned for his masterful studies of the human body - powerfully rendered paintings of dancers, jockeys, washerwomen, and bathers. It is less well known, however, that he also produced challenging and varied landscapes at almost every phase of his career - from this early travels in Italy, to his association with the impressionist movement, and to into his final decades. Remarkably, Degas chose the subject of landscape for his only one-person show in 1892. This illustrated book by Richard Kendall deals with Degas's landscapes, relating them to his other work and to evolving views of art. Kendall demolishes the myth of Degas's indifference to the landscape art. He traces Degas's first experiments in watercolour, oil, and etching; his progress as a painter of equestrian scenes and pastel seascapes in the 1860's; and his association with Pissarro, Cassatt, and Gauguin and rivalry with Monet and Cezanne in the middle of his career. Kendall provides a details examination of Degas's audacious colour monotypes from the early 1890's, showing how they reveal the artist's engagement with contemporary colour printing, his interest in Japanese art, his involvement with symbolism, and his affinity for contemporary philosophy and literature. He concludes by discussing the last flowering of Degas's landscape activity - the little-known series of paintings produced at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme in the late 1890s - and with the help of photographic evidence proves that these pictures relate directly to surviving streets and buildings, often in radical and innovative ways. Illustrated with many previously unpublished works, this book demonstrates that Degas had an affectionate, original , and complex relationship with the landscape, a relationship that has profound implications for this more familiar repertoire of subjects. The book accompanies an exhibition of Degas's landscapes opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in January 1994 and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Housten in April 1994.
Richard Kendall is an art historian who has written extensively about Degas and other impressionist artists.