Degas’ Father Listening to Lorenzo Pagans Playing the Guitar (1869 – 1870) by Edgar Degas

Degas' Father Listening to Lorenzo Pagans Playing the Guitar - Edgar Degas - 1869 - 1870

Artwork Information

TitleDegas' Father Listening to Lorenzo Pagans Playing the Guitar
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1869 - 1870
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, MA, US

About Degas' Father Listening to Lorenzo Pagans Playing the Guitar

The artwork known as “Degas’ Father Listening to Lorenzo Pagans Playing the Guitar” is an oil on canvas painting created by the artist Edgar Degas between 1869 and 1870. It belongs to the Impressionist movement and is categorized as a portrait. Currently, this piece is housed at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

The artwork captures an intimate scene where two figures are engaged in an artistic exchange through music. The character assumed to be Lorenzo Pagans is depicted on the left, holding a classical guitar, his fingers ostensibly positioned along the fretboard, suggesting the action of playing. His facial features are rendered with particular care, indicating a sense of concentration or perhaps a moment of emotive expression through his performance. The composition heavily features earthy tones and utilizes the play of light and shadow to provide depth and warmth.

To the right of the guitarist, we observe the second individual, presumably Degas’ father, portrayed as an older man in contemplation, possibly listening intently to the music being played. His gaze seems to be directed outward, with an expression that could be interpreted as reflective or deeply appreciative of the musical experience. The contrast between the musician’s active role and the listener’s passive engagement is eminent in the composition.

Degas’ technique showcases looser brushstrokes and the interplay of light, both characteristic of the Impressionist style. Despite the relaxed brushwork, there is an undeniable precision in the way the figures are captured, emblematic of Degas’s skill in rendering human emotions and interactions. The choice of color palette, primarily consisting of subdued brown and ochre hues, imbues the artwork with a warm, almost nostalgic ambiance that is evocative of the era it represents.

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