Writings | Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917

Edgar Degas, Degas in a Green Waistcoat, 1855-56



“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

“I want to be famous but unknown!”

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.”

“Art is vice. You don’t wed it, you rape it.”

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.”

"Daylight is too easy. What I want is difficult: the atmosphere of lamps or moonlight."

“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”

"Among people who understand, words are not necessary, you say humph, he, ha and everything has been said.”

"The air you breathe in a picture is not necessarily the same as the air out of doors."

“We were created to look at one another, weren’t we.”

"Art is really a battle."

"Drawing is not the same as form; it is a way of seeing form."

"Drawing is your understanding of form."

"If painting weren’t so difficult, it wouldn’t be fun."

“So that’s the telephone? They ring, and you run.”


Edgar Degas


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