"Unnoticed and unmentioned by the eye of Cornwell, these works show the continuing influence of Degas (and of early Cezanne paintings such as The Murder and The Abduction as well). In a painting alternatively called Interior and The Rape, Degas painted a giant menacing man barring the door of a small room while a woman sits cowering on the other side of the room. This is one of Degas' strongest paintings, as anyone who has seen it in Philadelphia or on tour will know. The suitcase in the middle of the picture glooms with an unearthly light. You wonder why Cornwell doesn't accuse Degas or Cezanne of being the Ripper. The reason is simple. These artists are as invulnerable to Cornwell's investigations as Cornwell is invulnerable to my criticism. Poor Walter Sickert is not."
The Impressionists broke up after 1886, and Degas began keeping more and more to himself, concentrating, along with his painting, on his photography and sculpture. He began favoring pastels over oils, mixing them with different media and experimenting with a variety of techniques, and it was now, curiously enough, that his work began to show distinctly Impressionist qualities. And, even more curiously, these beautiful, luminous works – many of which show nude women in intimate moments, bathing, combing their hair, etc., and are considered by some modern art critics as proof of Degas's misogynist outlook - now found acceptance with the public.
In 1894, a French Army Officer of Jewish descent, Alfred Dreyfuss, was falsely accused of treason, and this caused a great uproar in French Society. Degas took the part of the Anti-Dreyfuss crowd and revealed himself to be rabidly antisemitic. Since he couldn't do anything in halves, he topped his unsavory behavior by breaking off contacts with all Jews – including his childhood friends, the Halevys, and his long-time art colleagues, Renoir and Cezanne.
I'm surprised that none of you caught this, but Degas, in that image, managed to paint the worlds first laptop[ computer (by the lamp). The rag on it, no doubt, was the first screen cleaning tool.