Socialist Worker

Degas, Sickert and Lautrec: when realism shocked the establishment

by Yuri Prasad
Issue No. 1972

L’Absinthe by Degas

L’Absinthe by Degas

Degas, Sickert and Toulouse Lautrec — London and Paris 1870–1910
Tate Britain, central London, until 15 January

“I give real effects by using fake means”, said Degas when asked about the new, more realistic approach to painting that he brought to London in the 1870s. His art often dwelled upon the lives of the working class inhabitants of London and Paris, showing them seemingly unposed in unglamorous situations.

By making alcoholism his subject matter in L’Absinthe he outraged the London art establishment, but his work was to herald a new era in which convention was less stifling.









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Sat 15 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1972
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