Edouard Degas (1834-1917) was trained in the tradition of Ingres and draftmanship that he never totally abandoned. His finest works were often done in pastels making the dancers look like floating above the tilted floor like a butterfly. Rather than an Impressionist, Degas preferred to be called a Realist, although his style is related to that of Impressionists. His innovative composition, skillful drawing, and perceptive portrayal of movement is uniquely his own.
Degas also depicted social settings such as race courses, cafes, and music halls. He had a profound influence on later artists, Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec, and made sketches from living models to capture their spontaneity, later completing the paintings in the studio.
This picture was made in 1880 : Les Blanchisseuses was sold by Christie's ten days after Black Monday in 1987 for £ 7.4 million ($13.4 million) showing how little impact the crash had on the art market.