Portrait of a Woman (c.1866) by Edgar Degas

Portrait of a Woman - Edgar Degas - c.1866

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Woman
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Portrait of a Woman

The artwork titled “Portrait of a Woman,” created by Edgar Degas around 1866, is a notable example of the Realism movement. As a sketch and study, it serves as an intimate exploration of human features and emotion. Degas’s piece, now held within a private collection, showcases the skillful use of line and shading to capture the essence and character of the subject depicted.

This particular artwork reveals the gentle rendering of a woman’s face, mainly accomplished through fine, delicate strokes that give prominence to the contours of her features. The subject’s eyes gaze unfixed, her expression serene yet imperturbable, conveying a sense of tranquility combined with a trace of introspection. The subtlety of her features is accentuated through the soft shading and tones used, suggesting an exquisite sensitivity of the artist to the nuances of human visage. The incomplete nature of the sketch, with some areas more defined than others, invites the viewer to linger on the visage and fill in the missing details from their own imagination. Overall, Degas’s portrayal not only demonstrates his exemplary technique but also provides a glimpse into the character and mood of the unnamed woman, embodying the Realist commitment to depict everyday subjects with emotional depth and veracity.

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