Degas became interested in photography at the end of his life and only pursued this form of expression for a short period of time. His photographic work carries us to the heart of what defined him as an artist; a vital emotional need. Degas suffered from melancholy and deep dissatisfaction, which he expressed through photography. Black and white was his passion, on whose subject he wrote: "While my blacks were too intense and my whites not enough, both are clarified as in the works of the masters." His search for higher standards and a particular sensitivity for darkness revealed themselves during the numerous pose sessions during which he used lamps. The intensity he achieved in his work created an ambivalence between art and photography. His experiments prompted him to take important technical risks. They consisted in exposing twice the same photographic plate, the second time at 90 degrees. The result is an original mixture of faces and paintings presented cautiously by Degas as an " amusing failure ". This failure can also be seen as a photograph of photography: " Nothing in art should look like an accident, even movement ", he said.
Of his photographic work we conserve about forty exceptional compositions, of which we feel that Degas captured simultaneously the possible and the impossible.