Cafe-Concert Singer (1878) by Edgar Degas

Cafe-Concert Singer - Edgar Degas - 1878

Artwork Information

TitleCafe-Concert Singer
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions16.8 x 15.9 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Cafe-Concert Singer

The artwork titled “Cafe-Concert Singer” was created by the artist Edgar Degas in 1878. Utilizing the medium of pastel on paper, Degas crafted this portrait following the styles and sensibilities of the Impressionist movement. The artwork measures at a modest 16.8 x 15.9 cm and currently resides within a private collection. The genre is identified as a portrait, which suggests an intent to capture the individual characteristics and presence of the subject.

The artwork depicts a woman, likely a performer at a cafe-concert, which was a popular form of entertainment in Paris during the late 19th century. Her facial expression is rendered with a soft blur that is characteristic of Degas’s style, carrying a hint of aloofness or detachment. Her attire suggests a flamboyant stage costume, underscored by the use of vivid red tones, which stand out against the more subdued colors of the background. The singer’s pose is relaxed, with one arm draped over a structural feature that appears to be part of the cafe setting. Behind her, the forms of lighting fixtures are indicated with bright white strokes, conveying the lively atmosphere of the venue.

The painting captures the ambiance of the Parisian nightlife and the casual demeanor of its subjects, emblematic of Degas’s interests in the fleeting moments of contemporary life and the innovative approach of the Impressionists to light and color. The artwork’s intimate scale invites the viewer to a closer inspection, which is fitting given its private collection status. The medium of pastel allows for soft textures and a luminous quality, contributing to the overall impressionistic effect.

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