Bathers on the grass (1886 – 1890) by Edgar Degas

Bathers on the grass - Edgar Degas - 1886 - 1890

Artwork Information

TitleBathers on the grass
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1886 - 1890
Art MovementImpressionism

About Bathers on the grass

The artwork “Bathers on the grass” is a creation by Edgar Degas, a prominent figure in the Impressionism movement. Crafted between the years 1886 and 1890, Degas utilized pastel on paper as his medium. The genre of this artwork is classified as a nude painting or ‘nu’.

In this pastel, Degas captures a serene outdoor scene focused on the naturalistic representation of the human form. The composition reveals two figures, both women, engaged in the act of bathing. They are depicted in a verdant landscape, their bodies interacting with the environment in a casual, unposed manner. One figure stretches out gracefully on the grass, her form following a horizontal axis that adds a calm, reclined sentiment to the work. The other sits beside her, her back turned towards the viewer, bent slightly forward in a position that suggests a moment of rest or contemplation.

The use of pastel allows for soft textures and a subtle interplay of light and shadow, which Degas manipulates to accentuate the curvature and corporeality of the bathers’ forms. The Impressionist style is evident in the loose, expressive strokes and the focus on the effects of light, reflecting the movement’s interest in capturing fleeting moments and the sensory experiences of everyday life. The figures merge with their surroundings through color and technique, resulting in a painting that emphasizes the harmony between humans and nature.

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