Born in France in 1834, Edgar Degas was raised in a wealthy family of bankers. Unlike many of his well-known contemporary painters, Degas was classically trained and did not have to struggle to make a living. He studied under masters in Italy and in the finest art schools. But, the art revolution that took place in Paris in the late 1800s influenced him greatly. His subject matter changed from classical landscapes and portraits to pictures of everyday life. His brushwork grew freer and airier and his compositions started to include unique cropping, perspective and asymmetries. But, Degas did not consider himself an impressionist. He preferred working in a studio rather than outdoors, and was not as interested in the play of natural light on his subjects. Rather, he united the discipline of classical art with the immediacy of Impressionism. Considered the master of a subject in motion, Degas famous pastel ballet dancers and horses are instantly recognizable and have made him one of the world most famous and respected artists.