Breakfast after Bathing (c.1894) by Edgar Degas

Breakfast after Bathing - Edgar Degas - c.1894

Artwork Information

TitleBreakfast after Bathing
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Breakfast after Bathing

“Breakfast after Bathing” is an evocative pastel artwork by Edgar Degas, dating from circa 1894. Exemplifying the Impressionist movement, this nude painting captures an intimate domestic scene and is currently held in a private collection. Degas is renowned for his masterful use of pastels and his ability to render the human figure with both sensitivity and expressiveness.

The artwork depicts a female figure, presumably having just bathed, as she bends forward to dry her foot, which rests on a stool. Her posture is relaxed and natural, which indicates Degas’s interest in capturing candid moments rather than posed, idealized forms. To her right stands another woman, who appears to be a maid, dressed and holding a bowl. The juxtaposition of the nude woman with her attendant anchors the scene in the routines of daily life.

Degas’s technique with pastels is evident in the rich texture and vibrant colors that convey the softness of the flesh, the tactile quality of fabrics, and the play of light and shadow. The background is a kaleidoscope of floral patterns and tones, adding depth and enhancing the ambience of the scene. Noticeable are the loose, energetic strokes that are characteristic of Impressionism, providing a sense of immediacy and movement. Despite the candid depiction, there is an undeniable grace in the composition, a signature of Degas’s work, reflecting the fleeting moments of beauty in the mundane.

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