On one July 19, 180 years ago this Saturday, a man named Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas was born in Paris, France. You may know him better as Edgar Degas, and you may know him best for his dreamy paintings behind the scenes of the ballet.
Ballet is an art form that privileges all things perfect and pristine, but Degas took inspiration from the dance's sloppy moments i between -- every hunched back, sullied slipper, slumped posture and awkward stretch. Degas took his fascination with the beauty of ugliness outside the ballet studio as well, rendering cabaret singers and circus performers as something monstrous. Not to mention that "L'Absinthe" painting; it doesn't get much darker than that.