Hi, Edgar Degas, Could you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to pursue painting?

I was born in 1834 in Paris, into a wealthy family. My initial inclination towards art was encouraged by my father, who appreciated my artistic talent. I studied law briefly, but my passion for art prevailed. I received classical training at the École des Beaux-Arts, but I eventually found my unique voice, which diverged from the traditional academic style. My fascination with movement and the human form led me to explore subjects beyond conventional portraiture, focusing particularly on dancers.

How would you describe your approach to art and the development of your style?

My approach is deeply rooted in the study of movement and the human body in space. Although I'm often associated with the Impressionists, my work differs significantly. I am more inclined toward realism and classical composition. My style evolved to emphasize dynamic postures and unusual perspectives, capturing fleeting moments in everyday life.

What inspires you to choose the subjects that you do?

I am captivated by scenes of contemporary life, particularly those involving dancers. Ballet dancers, both on stage and in rehearsal, provide endless fascination for me. They allow me to explore themes of discipline, grace, and the rigors of artistic pursuit. I'm also drawn to subjects that allow me to experiment with composition and the portrayal of movement.

Could you elaborate on how you approach color in your work?

My use of color is often subdued yet deliberate, aiming to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the scene. I focus on the interplay of light and shadow, using color to emphasize form and depth. My palette tends to be more earthy and muted compared to my Impressionist contemporaries, aligning with my focus on realism.

Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring artists who look up to your work?

To aspiring artists, I would advise focusing on the fundamentals of drawing and composition. Understand the human form and how it moves and interacts within a space. Be observant of the world around you, and don’t shy away from experimenting with perspective and technique. Art is not just about replicating what you see; it's about interpreting and presenting it in a way that reveals a deeper truth.