Born in Paris, France.
Degas enters Louis-le-Grand secondary school on Rue Saint-Jacques.
Degas' Mother, Célestine, dies after birthing five children (Edgar is age 13).
Completes secondary school; begins copying at the Louvre Museum (April 7).
November: registers for law school to appease his father.
Studies with Louis Lamothe (French, 1822–1869).
Admitted to École des Beaux-Arts, placed 33rd in entry competition; attends for one semester, then drops out.
Meets Jean Dominique Ingres through the elderly collector Valpinçon. Paints a self-portrait, posing in the manner of Ingres
Moves to Rome, Italy.
Travels to Florence; stays with relatives: the Bellilli family; meets Gustave Moreau.
Returns to Paris; in November moves into a spacious studio; devotes himself to large history paintings that often go unfinished; executes self-portraits and first racetrack scenes.
Degas meets Édouard Manet while copying at the Louvre.
Artist begins writing his name as “Degas” as opposed to “de Gas.” First exhibit at the Salon; continues to exhibit there until 1870; subject matter turns to portraiture. Forges friendship with artist James Tissot (French, 1836-1902).
Exhibits Bellelli Family at the Salon.
Trip to Brussels, Belgium.
Last year exhibiting at the Salon. In April of this year, he submits an open letter to the Salon Academy to reconsider the way in which they display pictures. Paints his first picture of ballerinas dancing; paints The Orchestra of the Opera.
Degas serves in the Paris National Guard during the Franco-Prussian war.
Paris Commune; Degas in Normandy with his friends the Vollards.
Degas travels to New Orleans with his brother René and paints The Cotton Exchange in New Orleans. Durand-Ruel buys two of Degas' ballet paintings: Dance Class and Dancers at the Opera.
Together with Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley and Paul Cézanne forms the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs (what would become the Impressionists).
First Impressionist Exhibition. Artist's father, Auguste de Gas, dies leaves Edgar in dire financial straits as he struggles to pay off his—previously unknown—family debts. His subject matter becomes deliberately chosen for market.
Attends l'Opéra at the Palais Garnier.
Stéphane Mallarmé publishes glowing review of Degas in The London Journal.
Degas' work The Cotton Exchange in New Orleans is purchased by Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau—becoming his first artwork in a public collection.
Befriends Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926). Collaborates with Cassatt and Pissarro on the never published print book Le Jour et la Nuit.
Joris-Karl Huysmans devotes long article to Degas in L'Art moderne.
Exhibits Little Dancer at the Impressionist Exhibition.
Moves to Rue Pigalle.
Friend and artistic peer Édouard Manet dies.
Regularly attends the Paris Opéra.
Eighth and final Impressionist Exhibition in Paris. Travels to Geneva and Naples.
Theo Van Gogh begins buying Degas' work for Boussod et Valadon gallery, ending Durand-Ruel's monopoly on the artist's work.
Travels to Spain and Morocco. Visits the Prado; attends a bullfight.
Moves to Rue Victor-Massé; travels to Switzerland &Burgundy. Begins executing landscapes. George Moore publishes Degas: The Painter of Modern Life. Degas begins to withdraw from the public eye and aggressively collect art.
Theo Van Gogh dies. Degas no longer sells with Boussod et Valadon.
Ceases to regularly attend ballet rehearsals.
Purchases camera; begins experimenting with photography, mostly shooting at night.
Seven artworks by Degas enter the Luxembourg collection in the Caillebotte bequest.
Dreyfus affair causes Degas to lose friends and personal relations.
Travels to Naples. George Moore publishes Degas: The painter of Modern Life, an essay in the UK that helped make the artist a celebrity.
Danseuses a la barre sells for 500,000 francs (17,000 pounds) at a Rouart sale in Paris. Degas is now too blind to make art.
September 27, he dies from a brain aneurysm
Paul Lafond publishes illustrated biography Degas.
Estate sale; the discovery of hundreds of unknown works of painting and sculptures brings notoriety to the incredible diversity of Degas' output.