Degas rejected the open-air painting popularly practiced by the Impressionists. He worked in the studio with the help of models or drawings that he had made on site or taken from an already existing collection. “There has never been an art that is less spontaneous than mine,” he explained. “What I do is the result of thinking and studying the great masters. I don't know anything about inspiration, spontaneity, temperament […]. ”In the years 1895/96 Degas occupied himself with photography; Two paintings from this period are documented, for the preparation of which he used his own photographs. However, since the process apparently did not satisfy him, he then returned to drawing. Degas attached great importance to drawing and painting from memory because of the associated release of the imagination.

There is a tradition of the artist's habit of reworking finished pictures over and over again.


Edgar Degas, Sur le-champ de courses (Les-Courses), 1861-62

© Kunstmuseum Basel, online collection 04.09.2019

Edgar Degas | Sur le-champ de courses (Les-Courses)