Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist — Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle, a rare look at the works of pioneering artist Edgar Degas, will be on exhibit at St. Augustine’s Lightner Museum beginning April 12. Degas, one of the preeminent impressionist artists of the 19th-century, is best known for his enchanting paintings of ballet dancers on and off the stage. But little is widely known about the enigmatic artist’s life and personality. Featuring over fifty original works by Degas, the exhibition at the Lightner offers unique insights into his inner world and the opportunity to see rarely exhibited works from the private collection of curator Robert Flynn Johnson.
“Through his art, his words, and the circle of his friends and colleagues represented in the exhibition, the private persona of this elusive artist may emerge,” says Johnson. Johnson’s collection of drawings, prints, photographs, monotypes, and sculpture includes three unique self-portraits of
the artist as well as portraits of family members and fellow artists such as Mary Cassatt and Édouard Manet. Included are works on paper by Cassatt and Manet along with etchings and prints by many other famous members of Degas’ artistic circle. Works by Jean Leon Gerome, Honore Daumier, Pierre Puvis de Chavanne, Jean Everett Millais, Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, Alfred Stevens, Camille Pissarro, Gustave Moreau, Paul Cézanne and Eadweard Muybridge offer a fascinating look at the artist’s life and times. The exhibit also features a collection of colored monotype prints commissioned by Degas’ art dealer Ambroise Vollard, never before shown alongside Degas’ work.
Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist is on view at the Lightner April 12 – June 16. A fully illustrated catalog written by Degas scholar and Curator of the Royal Academy of Art, Ann Dumas, accompanies the exhibit. Lightner Museum, 75 King St., St. Augustine, (904) 824-2874.