Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas (1834–1917)
Degas was a highly experimental artist, adept in multiple media and genres. Although he exhibited at the Impressionist exhibitions, he preferred to be known as a ‘Realist’. Degas was interested in depicting contemporary life. Among his favourite subjects were the ballet, horse racing, theatre and cabaret scenes, as well as female figures at their toilette. He rarely painted en plein air, and often worked in artificial rather than natural light. In the later years of his life Degas used pastel more than any other medium; as his eyesight declined his use of the material became noticeably broader and freer.