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Profile of the Day: Edgar Degas

French painter Edgar Degas was born on July 19, 1834 in Paris, France.

Image: Edgar Degas / Wikimedia Commons

He was born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas and was the eldest child of Augustin De Gas, a banker, and Marie-Celestine Musson, an American from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her father, Germain Musson, had fled his home in Haiti in 1804 and made a small fortune in Louisiana cotton. As an adult, he changed the spelling of his surname to the less aristocratic sounding “Degas.”

As a child, Degas showed a talent for drawing and painting. He spent the beginning of his career working as a history painter before turning to painting modern life. Although regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, Degas rejected the term and preferred to be called a realist. Despite his rejection of the term, Degas continues to be remembered as one of the greatest Impressionist painters in history.

Degas died on September 27, 1917 at the age of 83 in Paris, France.

Explore Edgar Degas’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the French artist.

View Edgar Degas’s Geni Profile

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The post Profile of the Day: Edgar Degas first appeared on The Geni Blog.


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