Harlequin and Colombina (1886) by Edgar Degas

Harlequin and Colombina - Edgar Degas - 1886

Artwork Information

TitleHarlequin and Colombina
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism

About Harlequin and Colombina

The artwork “Harlequin and Colombina” was created by Edgar Degas in 1886, during the period known as Impressionism. This work is a genre painting representing a scene with the iconic characters from Italian commedia dell’arte. The Impressionist movement, with which Degas is associated, is renowned for its focus on light, movement, and everyday subjects.

In “Harlequin and Colombina”, the artist captures a dramatic moment between the two characters. Harlequin, adorned in his characteristic diamond-patterned costume, is depicted in a dynamic pose, with one arm reaching towards Colombina, who appears to be recoiling or withdrawing. Colombina is portrayed with softer, more delicate hues, wearing a blouse and a blue skirt adorned with a floral pattern. Her body language suggests a sense of reservation or modesty in contrast to the assertive stance of Harlequin.

The brushwork in the artwork is loose and expressive, a hallmark of Impressionist style, allowing the viewer to sense the movement and tension in the interaction between the two figures. The background is sketched with muted tones of green and brown, creating an atmospheric backdrop that keeps the focus on the characters. Degas’s technique imbues the scene with a sense of immediacy and captures a fleeting moment, typical of genre scenes favored by Impressionist painters.

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