Famous Quotes by Edgar Degas

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Edgar Degas was a French artist known for his work depicting dancers. He painted, drew, sculpted and printed. Here are some quotes by Edgar Degas:

1. ‘Painting is east when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do’

As you become an expert, things are more difficult to do ‘ talking about pressure to do well.

2.  ‘Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things’

You need to stop over-thinking to be successful.

3. ‘Art is a vice. You don’t marry it legitimately, you rape it’

Speaking poetically about his obsession with art.

4. ‘It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one’s memories’

Speaking about his ideas of drawing from memory, saying it is more creative and impressive.

5. ‘In painting you must give the idea of the true by means of the false’

The false is the materials used in art, the true is what the art represents.

6. ‘Everyone has a talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty’

An interesting idea that people lose their talent as they age.

7. ‘In art, nothing must resemble an accident ‘ not even movement’

Speaking of the intricacies of his work and art in general.

8. ‘What a delightful thing is the conversation of specialists. One understands absolutely nothing and it’s charming’

Speaking in jest about ‘specialists’ or experts. Suggesting they aren’t as intelligent as they think.

9. ‘We were created to look at one another, weren’t we’

Using the idea that art is something that is natural an important to be documented.

10. ‘Art is not what you see, but what you make others see’

An interested approach on art ‘ evoking opinions of others.

11. ‘One must do the same subject over again ten times, one hundred times’

You can never know too much about your chosen subject ‘ in this case Degas speaks of art.

12. ‘You need the natural life; I, the artificial’

This was spoken to a landscape painter, whose artistic subjects differed from his.

13. ‘No art is less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and the study of great masters’

Here Degas puts down his work, stating it is purely an imitation of other people’s work.

14.  ‘Boredom soon overcomes me when I am contemplating nature’

Written in his notebook and published in 1976.

15. ‘There is a kind of success that is undistinguishable from panic’

Here Degas explains that being successful can be very stressful and nerve-wracking.

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