Girl Drying Herself (1885) by Edgar Degas

Girl Drying Herself - Edgar Degas - c.1884 - c.1886

Artwork Information

TitleGirl Drying Herself
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1884 - c.1886
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions31 1/2 x 20 1/8 in. (80.1 x 51.2 cm)
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationBrooklyn Museum, New York City, NY, US
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About Girl Drying Herself

The artwork “Girl Drying Herself” is an oil on canvas painting by artist Edgar Degas, dating from approximately 1884 to 1886. This piece, which aligns with the Impressionist art movement, captures the genre of nude painting with dimensions of 31 1/2 x 20 1/8 inches (80.1 x 51.2 cm). It is held in the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, NY, US.

This particular work by Degas presents a female figure engaged in an intimate act of drying herself. Her body is depicted with a warm, earthy palette, and the strokes give a sense of texture and movement. Her posture and the orientation of her limbs suggest a moment of transient movement, frozen in time by the artist’s hand. The figure appears to be perched on a ledge or seat, leaning forward as she reaches behind to dry her back with a towel.

The use of sketch-like lines combined with the rich color tones and the play of light and shadow reveal Degas’s skill in rendering the human form with both realism and sensitivity. The artwork exemplifies how the artist often explored the theme of the human figure in everyday scenarios, here showing a natural and unposed moment, which is a subject celebrated in Impressionist art. The strokes around the figure suggest the environment without detailed delineation, allowing the viewer’s focus to remain on the act of the figure drying herself and the naturalistic portrayal of the human body.

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