Edgar Degas (1834 - 1917) was described as 'the most intelligent, the most demanding, the most merciless draughtsman in the world' by the poet and critic Paul Valery and today Degas is considered one of the outstanding draughtsman of the late nineteenth century. His powerful drawings and the pastles, which he himself characterized as 'orgies of colour', are some of the most compelling works in western art.
Drawing was not only the central tenet of Degas's art but also virtually a daily activity. Through an examination of the artist's drawings and pastels, which exist in great number and variety, Christopher Lloyd examines the development of Degas's style and outlines the story of his life in the contexts of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.
Following a broadly chronological approach, Lloyd discusses the wide range of Degas's work: the images of ballet dancers (which form over half of the artist's oeuvre), jockeys, laundresses, milliners and female nudes, as well as the less well-known landscape drawings. With over 200 illustrations that capture the most fleeting of subtleties and shades, this book provides a comprehensive and engaging account of the artist as draughtsman.