I like art and don’t concern myself with an artist’s biography (“Uncovering Jewish stories at the ‘Van Gogh, Monet, Degas’ exhibition,” June 22). That said, it should be pointed out that Degas was an outspoken anti-Semite — before, during and after the Dreyfus affair. He publicly broke off relations with former Jewish friends and fellow artists, and wouldn’t use Jewish models. His painting, “Portraits at the Stock Exchange” is regarded as an anti-Semitic caricature. He was an anti-Semite till the day he died.
Degas could be cruel, and was considered, in his time, a misanthropic bachelor, a reputation he quite enjoyed. His art is brilliant. One doesn’t have to like the artist as a person to love his or her art.
Robert H. Swedarsky