Diego Martelli (1879) by Edgar Degas

Diego Martelli - Edgar Degas - 1879

Artwork Information

TitleDiego Martelli
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMuseo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina

About Diego Martelli

The artwork titled “Diego Martelli” is a portrait by the renowned artist Edgar Degas, dated to the year 1879. Executed in oil on canvas, this artwork is a fine example of the Impressionist movement, which Degas was a part of. This particular piece is part of the collection at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The artwork presents a portrayal of Diego Martelli, a writer and art critic who was associated with the Impressionist circle. Degas captures Martelli in a moment of repose, seated informally on a low, wooden chair that is turned backward. His pose is unconventional for portraiture of the time as he leans forward with his arms crossed, conveying a casual demeanour. The subject’s attire is casual, consisting of a vest over a shirt, and trousers that lead to his feet, with one foot crossed over the other.

In the background, parts of what appear to be a dark blue sofa can be observed, upon which rests an open book and scattered papers, suggesting the intellectual and literary pursuits of Martelli. The floor is depicted with patches of color that may represent a carpet or tiling, while a couple of red slippers can be seen tossed aside, reinforcing the relaxed atmosphere of the setting.

Degas’s use of loose, expressive brushstrokes is characteristic of the Impressionist style, aiming to capture the essence of the scene with an emphasis on light and movement rather than meticulous detail. The color palette is warm, dominated by earthy tones, with pops of red and the cool blue of the sofa providing contrast. The composition, perspective, and portrayal of light within the room combine to create an intimate and vivid depiction, inviting viewers to appreciate the informality and immediacy of the moment.

Other Artwork from Edgar Degas

More Impressionism Artwork

Scroll to Top