Duchesse de Montejasi-Cicerale (c.1868) by Edgar Degas

Duchesse de Montejasi-Cicerale - Edgar Degas - c.1868

Artwork Information

TitleDuchesse de Montejasi-Cicerale
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Duchesse de Montejasi-Cicerale

The artwork entitled “Duchesse de Montejasi-Cicerale,” created by renowned artist Edgar Degas around 1868, is an oil on canvas portrait that exemplifies the Impressionist movement. Currently, this piece resides within a private collection. As a genre, it falls under portraiture, a traditional form that Degas has approached with his own distinctive style reflective of Impressionist sensibilities.

The artwork captures a mature woman, presumably the Duchesse de Montejasi-Cicerale, seated against a vibrant red backdrop which contrasts with her dark attire. Her countenance suggests a state of contemplation or introspection, and her body language, characterized by the repose of her hands in her lap, conveys a dignified stillness. The relatively muted palette, mainly comprising of blacks, reds, and earth tones, draws attention to the textures and the interplay of light and shadow.

Degas’ use of loose brushwork and a subdued color scheme is consistent with Impressionist techniques, which sought to capture moments of life with an emphasis on the effect of light rather than the minute details of form. The sparse detailing on the woman’s face and hands, coupled with the contrast of the bold red of the seating, places the focus on the emotional resonance of the piece rather than on a realistic depiction. The painting invites the viewer to ponder the subject’s thoughts or the nature of her presence in such a setting.

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