Nude in a Tub (1884) by Edgar Degas

Nude in a Tub - Edgar Degas - 1884

Artwork Information

TitleNude in a Tub
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, UK

About Nude in a Tub

The artwork titled “Nude in a Tub,” created by Edgar Degas in 1884, is a pastel representation of the nude painting genre within the Impressionist movement. It currently resides in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, located in Glasgow, UK. This piece is a quintessential example of Degas’s exploration of the human form and his adept use of pastels to convey both texture and subtlety.

The artwork captures the intimate moment of a woman bathing. The subject is depicted from a perspective that emphasizes her form and the curvature of her body, a compositional choice that reinforces the personal nature of the scene. The use of pastel creates a soft yet dynamic interplay of colors, characterized by the rich, warm tones of the surrounding environment that contrast with the cool, gentle hues of the bather’s skin. The strokes are both deliberate and expressive, allowing the viewer to sense the artist’s hand at work. The absence of intricate detail draws focus to the overall sensation of the moment, rather than the specific characteristics of the subject.

Degas’s mastery in portraying everyday scenes with a sense of immediacy and his focus on the figure’s interaction with its surroundings are well exemplified in this work. The unconventional viewpoint and cropping are indicative of Degas’ innovative approach and contribute to the sense of candor and spontaneity, hallmarks of the Impressionist movement. With “Nude in a Tub,” Degas invites contemplation on the beauty of the mundane and the fleeting quality of momentary repose.

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