DEGAS BY HIMSELF is a milestone in published approaches to the work of this remarkable figure. No other book has illustrated so many of Degas' works in colour, including his best- known paintings and sketches, as well as many works that will be unfamiliar to most people. The book draws on a range of sources - the artist's own notebooks and letters, as well as anecdotes and memoirs from his intimate circle - to trace a vivid portrait of Degas and reveal intimate aspects of his life and personality. His notebooks and letters show him as a forceful and expressive writer; there are letters to friends and customers, urgent messages to exhibitors at the Impressionist exhibition and, finally, a number of short and sad letters from his last years. Degas was also known as a wit and conversationalist, provoking a number of his friends to write down his words for posterity. For the first time, reminiscences and reported remarks have been brought together, conjuring up an unexpected picture of the artist as a man of wisdom and good humour.
Richard Kendall is a professional art historian, teacher and painter specialising in nineteenth-century French painting.