At the Milliner’s (c.1882) by Edgar Degas

At the Milliner's - Edgar Degas - c.1882

Artwork Information

TitleAt the Milliner's
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US

About At the Milliner's

“At the Milliner’s” is an artwork by Edgar Degas, created around 1882. The medium of this piece is pastel and it falls within the Impressionism movement. As a genre painting, it exemplifies Degas’s interest in capturing scenes of contemporary life. The artwork is part of the collection at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, NY, US.

The artwork depicts a scene inside a milliner’s shop. It is characterized by Degas’s deft use of pastels to create soft yet vivid textures and a sense of immediacy. The composition shows a woman, possibly a customer, who appears to be trying on or adjusting a hat in front of a mirror, indicated by the reflection and her engaging action with the hat and her gesture of tying or adjusting it around her chin. The viewpoint is cropped and intimate, typical of Degas’s unconventional framing that suggests a candid snapshot of the moment.

The attention to detail is focused on the woman and her interaction with the millinery, with some details of the hat and her expression carefully depicted. The background seems slightly more abstracted, capturing the essence of the shop environment without distracting from the central activities. The use of light, shadow, and color highlights the different textures, from the softness of the hat to the individual strands of hair, and conveys the atmosphere within the milliner’s boutique.

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