Portrait of an Italian (1856) by Edgar Degas

Portrait of an Italian - Edgar Degas - 1856

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of an Italian
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions38 x 26 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US

About Portrait of an Italian

The artwork entitled “Portrait of an Italian” is a creation by the artist Edgar Degas, dating back to 1856. This charcoal piece is a representation within the genre of portraiture and exhibits traits of the Impressionist movement, although Degas’s body of work often encompassed more than one style. With dimensions of 38 x 26 cm, this artwork is housed at the Art Institute of Chicago located in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

As for the artwork itself, it showcases a male figure in profile. The subject’s features are rendered with a mix of soft and defined charcoal strokes, capturing the interplay of light and shadow on the contours of his face and curly hair. The Italian man’s expression appears contemplative, with a keen gaze that seems to be directed off to the distance. Degas’s use of tone and texture in this portrait suggests a depth that extends beyond the flat surface, allowing the viewer a glimpse into the character and perhaps the mood of the individual depicted. The artwork’s detail indicates an intimate understanding of human anatomy, reflected in the delineation of the man’s nose, lips, and the structure of his jaw and neck. The craftsmanship of the piece exhibits Degas’s skill in using a monochrome palette to create a lifelike representation that strongly captures the essence of his subject.

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