That, after all, is what Degas was attempting to achieve.
He considered himself a ‘realist’ painter and disliked being called an Impressionist, although he was a very active participant in that inaugural 1874 show, and contributed to nearly all of the seven subsequent Impressionist exhibitions that were held over the next twelve years.
And while it is correct not to consider Degas an out-and-out Impressionist in the way one can Monet, Pissarro and Renoir, there was much in his approach that chimed with the art being produced by his colleagues.
His motifs were modern, metropolitan, everyday and bourgeois.
He used a colourful palette, he simplified his subjects, he painted with loose brushwork; he too wanted to make pictures that communicated the fleeting impression of a moment.
By the time of the last exhibition in Paris in 1886, differences in artistic philosophy, geographical location and individual character had led to the gradual break-up of the artist collective known as the Impressionists.
By which time Impressionism had become as much a part of French cultural life as the Opéra and, ironically, the Academy.
Much thanks to Will Gompertz’s book What Are You Looking At….some of the blog is directly taken from this fantastic book.