Elena Carafa (c.1873 – c.1874) by Edgar Degas

Elena Carafa - Edgar Degas - c.1873 - c.1874

Artwork Information

TitleElena Carafa
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1873 - c.1874
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationNational Gallery, London, UK

About Elena Carafa

The artwork entitled “Elena Carafa” was crafted by the esteemed artist Edgar Degas circa 1873 to 1874. This oil on canvas portrait exemplifies the techniques of the Impressionism movement. The National Gallery in London, United Kingdom, is the custodian of this elegant piece of fine art, which offers a glimpse into Degas’s mastery in the genre of portraiture.

The artwork renders a representation of a young woman seated in an interior setting, her posture relaxed yet contemplative. Degas skillfully depicts her with a thoughtful expression, capturing a moment of introspection. The sitter’s attire is informal, and her gaze, directed away from the viewer, contributes to the impression of a candid, unposed snapshot. The artist utilizes a palette of muted, harmonious colors that lend an air of tranquility to the composition.

Soft brushstrokes and the play of light and shadow infuse the scene with a sense of depth and texture. Degas’s spontaneous execution is evident in the loose representation of the shawl draped over the sitter’s shoulders, a characteristic technique of the Impressionist style. The brushwork gives prominence to the interplay of color and form rather than to exact anatomical detail, leaving the viewer with an impression of the subject rather than a detailed likeness.

This thoughtful composition by Degas not only encapsulates the aesthetic principles of Impressionism but also offers a sublime exploration of human presence and quietude within a painted space.

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