On July 19th 1834 a new muse was brought into the world. This muse was Hilaire Germain Edgar de Gas, otherwise known as Edgar Degas, child of Pierre August Hyacinte de Gas and Celestine Musson. This birth took place in Paris on rue Saint George. .
Edgar had a French nationality and began his art studies as a student with Jean-August Dominique Ingres, a master of classical art. In the year 1860 he gave up his academic career to pursue his art, but instead of painting realistically, as he had been doing, he changed to impressionism, as it was the impressionist movement that really influenced him. .
This was the beginning of a long and successful career for Edgar Degas as an impressionist artist. Although he created his paintings for him and his liking, many other great impressionist artists" influenced him. Two of these were Manet and Mary Cassatt. Mary in particular, who became great friends with Degas and continued being great friends until his death. .
The painting "The Dancing Class" is one of Degas many dancers on a diagonal paintings. This painting includes many different elements for many different purposes. One of these elements is line, on which he has created his floorboards on a diagonal, hence dancers on a diagonal. Another element featured in this painting is the tone of the colours. He has very effectively made the painting look as though there actually is sunlight streaming in from windows on the right side, as the colours on that particular side are lighter on both the floorboards and dancers. .
The paint was applied with a paintbrush thinly in smooth flowing brush strokes, thus the painting having no particular texture. The last element found in the painting is shape. Shape is defined mainly on the dancers. This is used with colour, defining the dresses from the body and the body from the room. Without shape the figures in this painting would not been seen effectively.
"The Dancing Class" includes a focal point, being the elderly dance teacher.