Portrait of a Woman (c.1873) by Edgar Degas

Portrait of a Woman - Edgar Degas - c.1873

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Woman
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions52.5 x 33.5 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Portrait of a Woman

“Portrait of a Woman,” by Edgar Degas, is a notable artwork dating from circa 1873. It exemplifies the Impressionist art movement, noted for its loose brushwork and emphasis on capturing the effects of light and color. The artwork measures 52.5 by 33.5 centimeters and currently resides within a private collection. This Impressionist portrait, as the genre suggests, depicts a female figure.

The artwork showcases a woman rendered with the distinctive Impressionist technique characterized by Edgar Degas. The woman’s posture is serene and thoughtful; she is depicted in profile, looking to the left of the viewer. Her face carries no explicit emotion, yet her pose, with one hand resting gently on her collarbone and the other holding what seems to be a small item, conveys a sense of introspection.

Degas has utilized a restrained color palette with darker hues, creating a sense of depth and volume through contrast and tonal variation rather than through detail. The background is executed with swift, gestural strokes, typical of Impressionist works, emphasizing the fleeting nature of the moment captured, rather than a fixed narrative. The texture of the brushwork adds a tactile dimension to the piece, inviting the viewer to sense the movement of the artist’s hand across the canvas. Despite the apparent simplicity, the portrait is imbued with a compelling psychological complexity, indicative of Degas’ mastery in portraiture.

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