Degas and Art around 1900
Edgar Degas was at the forefront of artistic innovation in Paris from the 1860s to the early years of the 20th century. The wide range of his subject matter, including narrative paintings, portraits, ballet scenes and female nudes, as well as his fearless approach to composition and colour, identify him as a lifelong experimenter.
Degas was a passionate collector of contemporary art, and purchases made by the National Gallery at the 1918 posthumous auction of his collection mark a starting point of the 19th-century collection here. Although Degas may never have seen a painting by Pablo Picasso, the young Spaniard, arriving in Paris for the first time in 1900, knew, admired and collected Degas's work.