Helene Rouart (Mme. Marin) (1886) by Edgar Degas

Helene Rouart (Mme. Marin) - Edgar Degas - 1886

Artwork Information

TitleHelene Rouart (Mme. Marin)
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions48.9 x 34.8 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Helene Rouart (Mme. Marin)

The artwork “Helene Rouart (Mme. Marin)” by Edgar Degas, created in 1886, is a pastel genre painting that demonstrates Degas’s association with the Impressionist movement. With dimensions of 48.9 x 34.8 cm, the piece is part of a private collection. The artwork portrays a domestic scene, capturing the essence of everyday life through the Impressionist lens, highlighting the unique qualities of the medium and the artist’s distinct style.

The artwork depicts a woman, presumably Helene Rouart, seated in a three-quarter pose, engaging with the viewer through a serene, albeit direct gaze. She is dressed in a blue dress with subtle variations in shading that suggest the fall of natural light upon the fabric. The dress’s folds and contours are rendered with the soft yet dynamic strokes characteristic of pastel work, contributing to a sense of depth and volume. The woman’s hands are gently placed, one resting on her lap and the other on the back of a wooden chair, suggesting ease and familiarity within her environment.

Degas’s use of color in the background comprises a harmony of yellows and greens, providing a vibrant contrast to the dominant blues of the dress. Despite the seemingly casual depiction, the artist’s skillful handling of form and light imbues the scene with a sense of intimacy and psychological depth. The woman’s expression is thoughtful, composed, and a touch enigmatic, inviting contemplation on her inner life and surrounding circumstance. Through strategic composition and a deft application of pastel, Degas excels in bringing this quiet moment to life, showcasing his ability to convey the subtlety of human experience.

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