Edgar Degas, a great artist of the 19th century, became famous for his elegant pieces of female dancers. Critics called him an Impressionist, but Degas rejected the term and thought of himself a Realist: he claimed to know nothing, diminishing his skill to nothing more than copying greater masters. Still, Degas held undeniable influence, affected a plethora of great artists, like Pablo Picasso. His excellent use of unusual angles, centering, and study of human form and movement set him apart from others. Degas was born into a wealthy family and received proper education while also displaying remarkable skill for art. He attended an advanced art academy for a year but left to travel, paint, and independently study in Italy. He also received an opportunity to make copies of Michelangelo and da Vinci works at the Louvre, a common rite for artists of the era to prove their talent.