Edgar Degas, Photographer

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

When he started taking photographs regularly, in 1895, Edgar Degas was 61 and long established as one of the great French painters. But his disposition, sober at best, was decaying into melancholy and the poisons of anti-Semitism. His eyes were failing too. In this show, which travels next to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the best pictures match his dryness to his darkness. Go first to his elastic Nude (Drying Herself), which begins in weird lamplight and ends in shadow. As raw as any of E.J. Bellocq's shots of New Orleans prostitutes, it also has the strange torsion...

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