Interior (The Rape) is a perplexing oil painting on canvas created by Edgar Degas between 1868-1869. It represents a tense confrontation under lamplight between a partially disrobed woman and a man in a bedroom setting. The painting’s meaning remains unclear, with Degas merely calling it a genre painting titled “Interior.” The painting was likely influenced by scenes from Emile Zola’s 1867 novel Therese Raquin.
Scholars have suggested that the scene may be a representation of two novels by Zola that describe the disconcerting and tense encounters between lovers. The dramatic lighting used in the painting adds to its theatrical look and gives the impression of a play being staged. The painting is currently owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the United States.
Interior (The Rape) is a significant work showcasing Edgar Degas’s exceptional artistic prowess. The painting’s distinctive dramatic lighting and tense portrayal of the scene are what make it a masterpiece. The painting’s subject matter, which is a contentious issue even today, adds to its cultural and historical significance. Despite the painting’s controversial nature, it has retained its importance in the art world and remains a significant work of art.