Hilarie-Romaine-Edgar Degas was born in Paris, France on July 19, 1834 as the oldest of five children. His father was Auguste Degas, a banker, and his mother was Celestine Degas. He grew up learning the classical arts in his prestigious secondary school, Lycee Louis-le-Grand. His father noticed Degas' talent for painting and drawing early on, and often took his son to the Louvre and other museums so Degas could copy the works of masters. Soon, Degas was working under Louis Lamothe, a teacher of strict Academic style. At the age of twenty, he enrolled in the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, however he only stayed a year. For three years after that, he traveled around Italy, copying master artist's work. The teachings of Lamothe, frescoes, and paintings that he observed on trips to Italy all had major influences on Degas' work. When he went back to Paris, he began producing paintings. By 1868, he was part of a group of artists who would become master artists known as the Impressionists. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Degas volunteered as a member of the French National Guard. Between 1871 and the time of his death, Degas produced numerous paintings and sculptures depicting dancers, women, and horses. Edgar Degas died on September 27, 1917 at the age of 83. During the last few years of his life, he did not produce as many paintings due to his failing eyesight.