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Degas' influence on Norman Cornish

Find out more about the influence of Degas on Norman's work.

Edgar Degas (1837-1917) was a French artist famous for his pastel drawings and oil paintings of ballerinas. Degas also produced bronze sculptures, prints and drawings. He was one of the founders of Impressionism, although he preferred to be called a realist, with his observations of contemporary life and activities.

A print by Degas – Combing the Hair, used to hang on the wall outside of Norman’s studio at Whitworth Terrace in Spennymoor. Inspired by Degas, the ‘dry media’ of charcoal, chalks and pastels became Norman’s favourite media in his portraits and some large works. By the age of twelve, Norman’s daughter Ann was accustomed to posing for her father in many different situations. Ann in Red Shoes.