Estelle Musson Balfour (c.1865) by Edgar Degas

Estelle Musson Balfour - Edgar Degas - c.1865

Artwork Information

TitleEstelle Musson Balfour
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationWalters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, US

About Estelle Musson Balfour

The artwork “Estelle Musson Balfour” is a creation of Edgar Degas, dating back to approximately 1865. It is crafted in oil on canvas, which was a traditional medium for the period and the artist. This piece exists within the Impressionism artistic movement, a genre known for its innovative approach to capturing light and motion. Specifically, the work falls into the genre of portraiture, which focuses on depicting the appearance or essence of individuals. The artwork is currently housed at the Walters Art Museum, located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

In examining the artwork, one immediately notices the somber and introspective mood conveyed by the subject’s downcast gaze and the muted color palette. The figure, Estelle Musson Balfour, is rendered with soft, almost hazy brushstrokes that are typical of Degas’s style and of Impressionist techniques. The background, while subdued and blending into the earth tones of the subject’s attire, faintly suggests a natural setting—a grove or copse of trees that appear almost ghostly behind her. The handling of light and texture in the portrait enhances the reflective and contemplative nature of the subject’s expression, suggesting depth and emotion beneath the surface. Degas’s signature is visible in the lower right corner, anchoring the work both in its time and as a product of the artist’s hand. The painting, through its evocative portrayal, invites the viewer to consider the individual’s inner life and the quiet moment of introspection captured here.

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