Madame Rene De Gas (1872 – 1873) by Edgar Degas

Madame Rene De Gas - Edgar Degas - 1872 - 1873

Artwork Information

TitleMadame Rene De Gas
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1872 - 1873
Art MovementImpressionism

About Madame Rene De Gas

Created by Edgar Degas between 1872 and 1873, the artwork titled “Madame Rene De Gas” embodies the essence of the Impressionist movement through its employment of oil on canvas as the medium. This portrait genre piece features an introspective portrayal expressed through subtle color transitions and delicate brushwork, characterizing the Impressionist aim to capture fleeting moments and personal perceptions.

The artwork depicts a woman seated on a softly draped settee or couch. Her attire suggests a level of refinement; she is dressed in a pale dress with a pattern of dark accents that could be interpreted as small flowers or dots. The sitter wears a black belt that cinches at the waist, offering a point of contrast against the lightness of her dress. The background of the artwork is bathed in a warm, peachy-pink hue that sets a calm atmosphere. There is an intimacy to the composition, emphasized by the close framing and the subject’s pensive expression. She gazes off to the side, seemingly lost in thought, and the artist captures this with a delicate rendering of her features that conveys a sense of contemplation. This personal and introspective quality is a distinctive aspect of Degas’ portraiture.

The painterly technique resonates with the broader intentions of the Impressionist movement—Degas applies color with fluid, unassertive brushstrokes that lend the artwork a sense of immediacy and vivacity. Despite the seemingly unfinished appearance when viewed up close, at a distance, the artwork conveys a well-defined affect and representation of the subject. The nuanced play of light and shadow across the woman’s face and the skillful depiction of fabrics further underscore Degas’ mastery within the Impressionist canon.

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